Watching American team practices leading up to the Offense-Defense All-American game, and LSU fans can get a glimpse of what the LSU defensive line may look in the future.
Many times LSU DL commits Lewis Neal, Tevin Lawson and Michael Patterson line up together and go up against their OL counterparts. These early reps will help build up some chemistry among the future Tigers, something Patterson said will only help down the road.
"Spending time with them before I get down there is a good thing because I'll be able to get to know those guys, so when I get down there, I'll be comfortable around them. That's a good thing," Patterson said.
After three days of practice, Patterson and his future cohorts have shown real promise going up against some of the top talent in the country. But Patterson only has his eyes set on the weekend.
"Everything's going good," Patterson said. "I'm just getting to know the guys and trying to get the plays down so I'll be prepared for [the O-D Bowl] on Sunday."
Though Patterson shined as one of the top prospects in Louisiana for the 2013 class, he admits he's never competed against offensive linemen with the talent level on display in the O-D Bowl.
"You're playing with the best of the best, so it's more difficult than playing in high school," Patterson said. "But it's a good opportunity to play against these guys."
After the O-D Bowl on Sunday, Patterson's sights will turn to LSU. He will take his official visit the weekend of Jan. 25 and move down to campus for good in June, where he'll try and compete for playing time on a defensive line that could lose up to six players to graduation or the NFL.
Some have compared him Barkevious Mingo, a speedy defensive end that has the athleticism to blitz in a variety of positions.
"I'll be going out of the three-point stance and stand up every other play," Patterson said of how the O-D coaches intend to use him. "They'll use me just like I was in high school, in a three-point stance and standing up. It's just a regular game right now."
Though it remains to be seen if that's how the LSU coaches intend to use him as well, Patterson did say they plan on putting weight on his 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame.
"When I get there, they're going to put plenty of weight on me," Patterson said. "When I get there I should gain around 15 to 20 pounds. That's a good thing too."
But before any of that happens, Patterson will try and show off his talent in Houston's Reliant Stadium. While enjoyment and competition are at the top of his list, Patterson also hopes to get in one more victory before he heads to Baton Rouge.
"I'm definitely planning on having fun," he said. "And I'm looking to get the W too."
O-D Bowl: Michael Patterson
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