Natrez Patrick went through many up’s and down’s to get where he is right now. A natural leader, the senior linebacker has proven in just two games that he can be the go-to guy and have others follow him. When on the field, Patrick commands respect and fills the role without giving a thought to what others say.
Head coach Kirby Smart commented that Patrick is vocal and like many of his teammates practices hard. He has earned a lot of respect from his teammates and isn’t afraid to put people in their place.
“Natrez is a vocal leader. He’s been a vocal leader for two years now. The kid loves the game; he is passionate about it. He’s similar to (Jonathan Ledbetter), in that he practices hard and is not afraid to speak up,” Smart said. “He isn’t worried about what people think about him. He’s done a good job commanding respect from his teammates as far as the way he practices.”
Part of Patrick’s leadership seems to have come from what Smart instilled in the team, his process. He mentioned that being good isn’t good enough and how the team wants to achieve greatness. Once the team bought into what Smart preached, it was an easy decision to buy into the process.
“I just feel like it’s a mentality that good isn’t good enough. We’re striving for greatness. I know great is hard to come by, but pushing forward, we’ll be better than good,” Patrick states. “He doesn’t allow us to get comfortable. That’s the drop-off between a lot of teams, and guys who do well, and guys who don’t. I’d say it was definitely a process that we did have to buy into. Once he got us, the process worked. It was a no-brainer for me. Everybody bought into it.”