Wide receiver Cordarellle Patterson (Hutchinson, Kan./Hutchinson CC), one of the most prolific offensive weapons in the nation, is close to announcing his decision. Patterson has taken official visits to Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee, and he will choose from one of those five programs on signing day.
The connection between a prospect and his potential position coach is sometimes a powerful factor in a recruit’s final decision. While Tennessee lost its receivers coach recently, Patterson's recruiter of record is Darin Hinshaw, the former quarterbacks coach who is now the Vols’ wide receivers coach. The staff at Ole Miss is new, and LSU has yet to hire a receivers coach. Patterson has talked with Hutchinson head coach Rion Rhoades about all the upheaval in the coaching staffs.
“He is pretty perceptive and aware of what is going on, but I do not know how much of a factor it will be in his final decision,” Rhoades said. “I think Tony Ball and Hinshaw being his position coach at Georgia and Tennessee [respectively], it definitely helps that they have been the ones recruiting him this entire time.”
Last weekend, Patterson checked out LSU, and like his other trips he enjoyed his time in Baton Rouge.
“When he gets back he seems to always appreciate the quality of the people and the program,” Rhoades said. “What do you expect? It is the SEC, it is going to be nice.”
Rhoades says Patterson is still sorting through things, and will spend this week finalizing his decision. Location could play a role for the Rock Hill, S.C., native, as he has not been home much in the last two years.
“I think his mom and his sister have met with everyone that is still in the race, and I think they would like it to be as close to home as possible,” Rhoades said.
The two-time NJCAA All-American selection, has rewritten the record books during his two years at Hutchinson. The 6-foot-4, 213-pound wideout made 61 catches for 924 yards, rushed 28 times for 369 yards and six touchdowns, averaged an NJCAA leading 51.8 yards per kickoff return and totaled 1,814 all-purpose yards this year. He scored touchdowns in 20 of 23 games played, had kickoff returns of 96, 97, and 98 yards, and averaged 18.5 yards every time he touched the ball in his Hutchinson career.
He holds or shares 15 school records, including total receptions (113), total receiving yards (1,832), career receiving touchdowns (24), career overall touchdowns (36), career points (216), career kickoff return average (41.9) and all-purpose yards (3,379). Rhoades has definitely enjoyed having Patterson in uniform.
“It has been a big-time blessing to have a difference-maker like CP,” Rhoades said. “He can score anytime he touches the ball, and it has been a lot of fun. He has really done a great job of being a team player, even though in a lot of ways he is a star. He has always looked to give his teammates and his coaches credit, and I think that is pretty cool, too.”
Rhoades recruits in South Carolina for Hutchinson, and he beat out another juco program for the explosive receiver, who has exceeded all expectations.
“I knew he was a really good player and had potential, but I had no idea he would have the kind of impact he has had on our program,” Rhoades said.
Whichever Division I program signs the game-breaker next week will get a talent college coaches have compared to one of the best to ever catch passes in the NFL.
“I think people who have really studied his game and coached him think he plays a lot like Randy Moss,” Rhoades said. “I know that is a big statement to make, but he does a lot of the same things. In the return game, I have never seen a big guy play as well as he does. His ability to run through traffic and change direction is as good as any returner I have seen, so for him to do it at that size is pretty remarkable.”
Ole Miss has no commitments from a wide receiver, while Auburn and Georgia each have one wideout and Tennessee and LSU have three commitments each at the position.