Patterson is a former ESPN 300 recruit who went 7-0 at North Dakota State as a starter last year before getting injured. He played in 11 games over three seasons at Virginia Tech from 2018 to 2020.
"It's a shot to be the best me I can be, in a sense..." Patterson told ESPN on Wednesday. "I told all the coaches, I didn't need any guarantees (to start). I just wanted a shot and take it from there and prove what I can do. I know a lot of people know what I can do. I just have to go do it."
Patterson is arguably the most high-profile recruit to join first-year coach Stan Drayton's rebuild effort at Temple. Drayton took over a program that went 3-9 last season and lost the final seven games of the year.
Patterson stayed connected with Drayton, who he noted the Temple players raved about as being "real" because of his ability to forge genuine connections through sharing relatable stories from his own life.
"That says a lot about him," Patterson said of Drayton. "Most people want to play for a coach like that. I definitely do."
Patterson pointed to his strong relationship with wide receiver coach and passing game coordinator Jafar Williams, who came from Virginia Tech, as one reason he felt comfortable at Temple. He also clicked with veteran offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf, who he said will likely run the offense 30-percent from under center and 70-percent from shotgun.
Patterson will have two years of eligibility remaining. He plans to get a graduate degree from Temple's Fox School of Business in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management.
Patterson will join a quarterback room that features another high-profile transfer, as the competition for the starting job will include former Georgia quarterback and Ohio State commitment D'Wan Mathis.
Patterson is a talented dual-threat quarterback who rushed for seven touchdowns and threw for six more last season for North Dakota State. He averaged 5.8 yards per rush and completed 54.5-percent of his passes. He pointed to Langsdorf coaching Tommy Armstrong at Nebraska and envisioned playing that style at Temple.
Patterson started the first seven games of the season for the Bison before spraining the AC joint in his throwing shoulder. His replacement, Cam Miller, led the Bison to the national title. NDSU designed a package for Patterson throughout the FCS playoffs, including a 34-yard run in the first quarter of the national title game victory over Montana State. He finished that game with 98 rushing yards on 11 carries.
Patterson stressed he had a good football experience in Fargo and was treated well there. He said he was unlucky with the injury and his decision to transfer was based on simple logic.
"It was the realization that we did win a national championship with a different quarterback," he said. "If I was a coach, I would do the same thing. It's hard to replace the guy you just won the national championship with. Before spring ball, I was oblivious to that. So I have to go do something about this if I plan on doing anything with playing quarterback. That's ultimately why I decided to leave."
At Virginia Tech, he started a game against Notre Dame in 2019. His most memorable moment at Virginia Tech came against North Carolina that season when he scored the game-winning two-point conversion to end the longest game in ACC history, a six-overtime win, 43-41, over North Carolina.
Patterson was a highly regarded recruit out of Chicago who chose Virginia Tech over schools like Iowa, North Carolina and Penn State.