Walnut (Calif.) Mt. San Antonio College offensive lineman Patrick Kim will be the first to tell you he's taken an unconventional football journey, from walking on at USC to joining the Mounties team. He also isn't making an apologies.
"I had about ten to twelve offers in high school, like UTEP, Villanova, Texas State, San Jose State. I'm really big in my faith; the reason I play football is for the glory of God. I prayed about it with my family, and I just didn't feel like any of those places were where I was meant to be. A lot of people said it was a terrible mistake, but I feel like the last two years that I spent at USC out of high school were the two years I grew up most as a man. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything," he said.
Kim spent the past season playing with the Mounties and was grateful for the experience to get back onto the field.
Now, as he finds himself back into the recruiting process, he's remaining optimistic and staying strong in his belief that what's meant to be will happen.
"At the beginning of the season, a lot of Pac-12 schools were on me, like Arizona State, UCLA, and Utah. Going through the season, because of injuries and need, I played three different positions throughout the year, so I wasn't really able to maximize my productivity at a certain position. A lot of schools were turned off that I kept moving, but I wanted to do it to help out my team
"A lot of players would be upset, thinking it could ruin their chances of recruitment, but I'm not going to complain. If I don't get the offers I want, so be it. God gave me another opportunity to get back into the recruiting process by transferring to a junior college and now I'm just waiting. Everything happens for a reason," he said.
Kim took a few trips and held early offers, but isn't quite sure where he stands with either of the programs.
"Memphis offered, but when I was on my trip there, I let them know that Akron had offered, and they pulled back a bit because I was keeping my options open. I spoke with the Akron offensive line coach, who told me he really likes me, but he's looking for a true tackle and I'm more of an interior guy. So I don't hold any offers right now, and as a competitive player, I really want to compete at the highest stage, so we'll see what happens," he said.
There is one school that has caught the attention of the 6-foot-3, 295-pound lineman.
"If I had it my way, I would love to go to UCLA, but I know they have brought in many offensive lineman. I feel like what Coach [Jim] Mora is doing with the program is amazing and I would love to be a part of it, but it is what it is. We'll see," he said.
With two years of eligibility ahead of him, Kim is looking forward to an opportunity to use his talents to benefit another team.
"My knowledge of the game is one of my biggest strengths. At center, I'm a player's coach on the field. My tenacity, having the knowledge, helps me play a lot faster and without holding back," he said.
Though he does have the talent to play at multiple spots on the line, there's one spot in particular that he feels suits him best.
"I would have to say hands down, center, because that's where most Division-1 coaches see me. Even in high school, I never really stayed in one position because I played wherever the team needed me, whether it was because of blocking or injuries, but the coaches have said if they could have their way, they would play me at center," he said.
Kim will graduate in December and is eligible to join a team for spring football.