Story By: Jake Perper
Patrick McKaufman is as seasoned as they come.
The 6-foot-5, 195-pounder is set to start his fourth season at Douglass High School in Oklahoma City, OK.
McKaufman currently has a scholarship offer from Grambling State. He also has interest from Iowa State, University of Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, LSU, Houston, Kansas, Arizona State and UTSA.
He said that there isn’t one certain school that stands out right now.
“I’m still looking for a school that’s a good fit for me to get an education,” McKaufman said.
As a junior, he tossed 1,709 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed for 528 yards and totaled 12 touchdowns on the ground.
Heading into his senior year, McKaufman is eying his first Class 3A state championship. The Trojans have won 16 state titles, but haven’t captured one since 2010.
“To hold everyone accountable for their own actions, get at least half of our team offers and most importantly win a state championship,” McKaufman said of his goals this season.
In three seasons under center, McKaufman has totaled 5,986 yards (5,104 passing, 972 rushing) and 62 touchdowns (41 passing, 21 rushing) as he’s led Douglass to a 28-9 record.
McKaufman understands that it’s a blessing to be in the position that he’s in at Douglass. He loves it because it gives him the opportunity to become the first quarterback in the history of the school to be a four-year starter.
“I’m amazed that I was a 14-year-old freshman to not only battle, but beat out a senior and a sophomore for the starting position,” he said. “It took a lot of maturity, leadership, self-discipline and courage on my part to claim that. I owe it all to God, he carried me every step of the way.”
One of the schools that has interest in McKaufman’s services is the University of Oklahoma and their head coach Bob Stoops. McKaufman has some deep ties to the school as four of his family members went to school there. Of the family that attended Oklahoma, his grandfather’s cousin Prentiss Guatt stands out as the first ever African American football player at the school.
“My great grandmother Lydia Nealy received her master’s degree,” he said about his family ties to Oklahoma. “My uncle Elvie Lamar Ellis was the first black homecoming king there and my other grandfather Elvie Ellis received his master’s degree in education.”
In preparation for his senior season, McKaufman has been working the hardest on his passing game. He says he believes an improved pass offense would “force teams to play us honest.”
“I have been in a run happy offense the past three seasons and perfecting this part of my game would give us a balanced attack this year,” he said.
DeBartolo Sports’ lead quarterback instructor Joe Dickinson has been working with McKaufman this off-season. McKaufman says the training sessions have been intense, but at the same time fun.
“One thing I like most about coach Dickinson is how he’s always teaching and no matter how much he likes you, he gets you prepared for the next level,” he said. “He has helped me become more consistent on and off the field and become more up-tempo when you’re battling for almost anything whether it’s on the field, court, track or outside of sports.”
He also is a part of the basketball and track teams at Douglass with football being the main focus. McKaufman says he has the mindset that he can play the game of football at any level.
“I can compete with the best of the best without a doubt in my mind,” he said. “I’m a positive, uplifting leader on and off the field and always willing to help someone if I can.”
McKaufman has taken part in several camps this year including the Army All-American Combine, several Nike camps and various junior days at colleges. He says the camps have left him with tons of knowledge and if he continues to work hard things will work out.
One thing that sticks out to McKaufman from his college visits was when he went to the University of Texas and met head coach Charlie Strong.
“When he [Strong] set his eyes on me, he hesitated and said you’re a legit 6-foot-6,” he said. “Some of the other coaches said we haven’t had someone that big here since ole’ number 10 Vince Young.”
McKaufman’s head coach Willis Alexander is entering his ninth season as the man in charge. Alexander owns a 74-25 record since taking over as the head coach in 2007.
Alexander will have McKaufman under center this season alongside four talented seniors, wide receiver Que’Sean Sims, running back Anthony Jackson Jr. and defensive linemen Dominique Jones and Xavier Mason.
This year’s No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is the player McKaufman models his game after. He says he tries to copy Winston’s on the field play only and compares the two since they are both tall and long. Winston stands at 6-4.
“I love to watch Marcus Mariota also,” he said. “He’s quick athletic smart and a leader on and off the field.”
When McKaufman isn’t playing football or in the classroom, he is taking part in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is currently a group leader at the Epic-Peoples Church. His main goal whether it will be on or off the field it is to continue to get better as a player and a person.
McKaufman certainly has a bright future. He could be well on his way to a big time Division I program if he can put together another successful year, this time as a high school senior.