A new face at Peyton’s place

A new face at Peyton’s place – Rising star: Jerome Pathon

Vito Stellino

JEROME PATHON TOOK A roundabout route to the NFL. Pathon is a native of Capetown, South Africa, but he made his name as an athlete in Canada. He played in high school in British Columbia and spent a year at Arcadia (Nova Scotia) University.

He then went to the University of Washington, where he was a three-year letterman and a two-year starter. In 33 games and 19 starts at Washington, he caught 125 passes, including 16 for touchdowns, for 2,063 yards. That productivity impressed the Indianapolis Colts, who made him their second-round draft pick in 1998.

He had a good rookie season, starting 15 games and catching 50 passes. In 1999, however, Pathon was slowed by injuries and caught only 14 passes in 10 games. Last year he started to get back on track, catching 50 passes.

And this year, he has demonstrated that he may be ready to rise to the upper echelon of NFL wide receivers. Not only has he gained quarterback Peyton Manning’s confidence, but he also has become a viable alternative to all-everything wideout Marvin Harrison, who didn’t have much help around him in the past.

“I admit, in the past if Jerome and Marvin had the same route, I was naturally going to look to Marvin,” Manning says. “Now I have equal confidence. That’s what you want in an offense.”

Pathon also has won the confidence of his coach, Jim Mora. “He worked very hard in the offseason,” Mom says. “That has been the key for him. He has become a very good receiver.”

And now that Pathon has solidified his position in Indy’s high-octane offense. there may be no limit to what he accomplishes in the coming years. Says Pathon, “I’ve been working to be ready for this.”

COPYRIGHT 2002 Century Publishing

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group