“I kept asking questions and no red flags came up,” Spencer said. “This was just a kid who wasn't getting an opportunity up there and wanted to finish out in a good situation.”
The next step was for Patmon to make a visit to Stillwater, serving as an interview process for player and coaches.
“I had to get a feel for what this kid was like, hear from him the story about what happened up there,” Spencer said. “And see if it was somebody we wanted to bring in to our family. That's like inviting somebody into your home, somebody you don't know, to cohabitate with your kids. Yeah, I'm going to get to know the situation.
“We had a tremendous visit with him and I saw it in his eyes that he wanted to come here — in my mind — for all the right reasons. And he hasn't disappointed one day.”
And while Patmon isn't available for interviews under Mike Gundy's rules for first-year players, the switch to OSU hasn't disappointed for him, either.
The Cowboys' seven wins this season are more than Patmon enjoyed in his three-year playing career at Kansas, where the Jayhawks went 3-9 in 2010, 2-10 in 2011 and 1-11 a year ago. KU closed last season on an 11-game losing streak.
“After our first game, Mississippi State, he was talking about how happy he was, because he hadn't won a game in so long,” said Cowboys safety Lyndell Johnson. “You can just tell; you know, when someone's happy. He's doing everything in his power to help us win and to better us.
“We're glad we've got him. And he's said how much this team means to him and how glad he is that we let him into our family.”
With the Jayhawks visiting Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, Patmon can continue to boost the Cowboys — at KU's expense. Already, this season promises to end better than any in Lawrence. And Spencer made a point to mark a significant occasion after OSU's win at Iowa State two Saturdays ago.
The Cowboys had boarded two buses for the ride to the airport in Des Moines, when Spencer realized he had something to say to Patmon.
“I'm on bus one and he's on bus two,” Spencer said, “and before we leave, I get off my bus and I go back and I find him. He's on the back of the bus, back there with his headphones on. I walk back there and he took his headphones off and said, ‘What's up coach?' He thought he was in trouble.
“I said, ‘Congratulations; thanks for taking the chance on us and congratulations on the first and only bowl game of your career, we just clinched win No. 6.' He got a big old smile on his face. He's a fifth-year senior who's never been to a bowl game. Pretty special.”