EYE ON THE TITLE: Patrick Queen, parents, and coaches reflect on LSU LB’s legendary career at Livonia High School

All-State running back transitioned into crushing SEC linebacker

EYE ON THE TITLE: Patrick Queen, parents, and coaches reflect on LSU LB’s legendary career at Livonia High School
LSU linebacker Patrick Queen reflects on his prep career at Livonia High School before he and the No. 1 LSU Tigers face the No. 3 Clemson Tigers on Jan. 13, 2020. (Source: WAFB)

LIVONIA, La. (WAFB) - Before LSU linebacker Patrick Queen was tackling opposing players underneath the lights of Tiger Stadium, he was shining as a running back under the Friday night lights for the Livonia High Wild Cats.

Queen was on the Wild Cats team that won the Class 3-A LHSAA State Championship in 2014. He was selected as an All-State running back in 2015 and named one of WAFB’s Warrick Dunn Award finalists in 2016.

During his senior year, Queen rushed for 1,487 yards and 19 touchdowns, and on defense had 66 tackles, including 42 solo hits, seven tackles for losses, and six passes broken up.

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In the days leading up to No. 1 LSU’s showdown with No. 3 Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship, Queen spoke to WAFB 9Sports anchor Jacques Doucet about his time under the lights of Livonia High’s stadium known as, The "Jungle.”

“My favorite game here would probably would be the semifinal game when we went to state. The year that we wanted so that was probably my favorite game. (It was the) most electrifying game. Probably the most people I’ve ever seen over here. Just a lot of memories with my friends that I grew up with. There’s a lot that we’ve accomplished on this field,” Queen said, as he walked in the stadium where he was a star under the lights on Friday nights.

It was nothing like being here on Friday nights, man. With the stadium packed. Man, we had a great time on Friday nights. Nothing like being in the jungle on Friday nights. I miss it to this day. I hate the city life. There’s too much traffic. You give me the nice quiet country anytime,” Patrick’s father, Dwayne Queen, told WAFB.

It’s a reunion of sorts as Patrick Queen is surrounded by the people who have loved and supported him throughout his life; his parents and the two very successful high school coaches, who instructed him during his prep days as a Wild Cat.

“It’s been great. We believe that one day his gifts and talents will make room for him and bring him before great men. And that’s absolutely what god’s doing. We just give God all the glory, his accomplishments, his blessings,” Patrick’s mother, Mary Sue Queen, said.

“I’ve known Patrick since he was about in the first grade. He was a real quiet kid but then when he put on that helmet, he became somebody else,” Delaney Lee, Queen’s youth football coach, said.

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“I don’t think there was any question he was gonna do great things. So much more than athleticism. He brought that work ethic. He brought a deep drive and desire to be great and you can see that as the maturation process took place,” former Livonia High School coach David Brewerton said.

“A big step in life. I’ve been working four years of my life for this,” Queen said.

“The excitement, being one of the first few guys from here, signing with an SEC school. All those young guys looking up to him. Now he’s truly a role model even to greater standards at this point. Just to watch him fulfill those dreams, from the minute I met him, he had a dream of playing at this level. And to watch come into fruition is really exciting for all of us,” another former Livonia High School coach, Guy Mistretta, said.

But as a kid growing up, it seemed Queen’s future might be on the baseball diamond, not the gridiron.

“At eight years old, Patrick was hitting the ball across the fence. By the time he was 10, we had to start bringing a birth certificate to all (of his) the baseball games. They thought he was too old to be playing, and once they saw the birth certificate they found out he was younger that the other kids he was playing against. We had a decision to make. Football was easier to enroll than baseball. It’s a long process,” Dewayne Queen explained.

Eventually, Patrick queen wowed crowds on Friday nights as a running back. He rushed for huge numbers week after week. But by the time his senior year rolled around, it was evident queen would be transitioning to the position of linebacker at the next level.

And that transition can be a very trying process.

“All the kids get frustrated when they think (they) should be starting and they’re not. We sat down and talked to him on what he needed to do. He listens to us,” Dewayne Queen said.

“I just told him to put in the work, you know hard work and extra practices, extra film, you know whatever it took,” Mary Sue Queen explained.

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But eventually, he realized you had to be patient to learn the position. You had to be patient

“It was rough coming in as a freshman. So when I came in I just had to learn the plays. It took a while but I finally got it down,” Queen said.

The light would come on and everything would slow down for him. It was Queen recovering a fumble in the season opener. It was Queen, making a huge goal-line stance at Texas.

It was Queen, with a pivotal interception in the Alabama game. And yes it was Queen making a team-high eight tackles against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff Semifinal.

“Social media blows up all the time and the kids want everyone to know about their stats all the time, the amount of touchdowns and everything. It’s just a lot about the character of this kid, and the work ethic of Patrick. To go from scoring all these touchdowns all the time and really listening to people that know what’s going on the next level saying ‘hey we think you can be a great linebacker.’ And for him to be able to put that kind of work ethic on the other side of the ball, chasing his dream is just awesome to see," Brewerton said.

“It’s a very proud moment. To have a kid come up through your program and literally playing in the collegiate Super Bowl. It’s an awesome feeling. I’m really excited for LSU. You have someone from your hometown, playing in that game is a real awesome feeling,” Lee said.

“It means a lot you know just coming from a small town. You don’t really see that many people get out, fulfill their dreams. And who would have thought a little kid like me would have came out to play the national championship. I wasn’t an ideal linebacker coming out (of high school) but I’m fulfilling that role now. Back in the day, you know kids would play the NCAA Road To Glory, that’s always been a vision for me. I’m just thankful to be in this position and be with my teammates,” Queen said.

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