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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Super sophomore Patrick likes latest offer

By Radi Nabulsi

ATHENS, Ga. -- Considering that running back Jacques Patrick (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek) is only in his second year of high school but already has 25 scholarship offers, the case can be made that Patrick is one of the most coveted prospects in the Class of 2015.

Last week the Georgia Bulldogs extended an offer to the 6-foot-2, 215-pound sophomore -- an offer that Patrick was hoping for.

“It was one that I was waiting on for a while,” Patrick said. “I was pretty excited about it. I liked Georgia when I went up there and visited. It is a nice place and a place I could see myself going there. So it is good that I got the offer. I was talking with coach [Tony] Ball and he was told me I had an offer from Georgia.”

Patrick knows one player on the Georgia squad quite well. He used to be teammates with freshman linebacker Ryne Rankin.

“I haven’t spoken to Ryne in a while,” Patrick said. “I hear a lot about him and how he is doing at Georgia. I am going to come up there and watch them this spring. I am going to visit Georgia and maybe Florida State again.”

The Seminoles and the Bulldogs will strive to get Patrick on campus as much as possible over the next two years, as will Alabama, Clemson, Auburn, LSU, Miami, Ohio State and many more top programs that have extended early offers. Georgia was among the last teams in the SEC to offer the standout tailback.

“The only SEC schools I am missing are Ole Miss, Missouri and Texas A&M, I believe,” Patrick said.

One SEC school has taken the lead for Patrick.

“I have Florida as my early favorite,” Patrick said. “I got Florida State as a close second, but I am still pretty wide open to anybody at this point. I am not narrowing down anybody.”

Patrick said he grew up a fan of Florida State, but his naming of the Gators as his leader was cause for concern on the Seminoles’ coaching staff.

“It is kind of funny because a week after I named Florida my favorite, Florida State emailed my coach,” Patrick said. "They were kind of panicking. They thought they had lost me or whatever but I still open to everyone. That just shows you what the competition is like between the schools over a player.”

With 23 months until he signs with a school, Patrick has plenty of time to change his leaderboard before he makes a decision. But when he eventually commits, the sophomore said he will be one-and-done.

“I am going to take my time and not let anybody pressure me into a decision,” Patrick said. “My mom will help me through it to make the right choice -- the first time. I am going to make my decision the first time with no committing and then decommitting and all that kind of stuff. I’m looking for a place where I am comfortable and a place where my mom can see me play. If it is at a school far from home, she can still come see me play but just not as much as it was a school just two hours or six hours away.”

Patrick’s mother is a Florida State fan, and while she would like him to stay close, the young running back is looking beyond the southeast.

“Actually, I talked to USC today,” Patrick said. “I called to talk to coach Tee Martin today. He is a good guy and genuine. They like me a lot over there. They said they are going to come down a couple times in the spring to watch me practice and go to my spring game.”

And while Patrick believes that he has enough offers to go where he likes, there is still one more school on his radar.

“It would be nice to get an offer from Oregon and to visit up there," he said, "just to check them out and see what they have to offer.”