Alabama offer ‘changes the game'

Getting the big offers in your home state is always a big deal in recruiting, but getting your first out-of-state offer from the defending national champs was "surprising" and "awesome" for one of the best class of 2015 talents in the South.

"It was awesome!" Javon Patterson said of his day Saturday.

Along with his mother, brother and a Petal (Miss.) High teammate, the group traveled north on I-59 to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to take in Alabama's campus and football facilities.

"I went down there with (2014 WR/DB) Jesse Jackson, talked to the coaches, toured the campus and all that," he recalled. "We came back, and met with Nick Saban. We had a great talk about who they are and how they do things at the school. He told me I have an opportunity to come there on a scholarship offer.

"It was a pretty good day."

Just a sophomore, the 6-foot-3, 280-pound offensive line prospect has been taken back by each of his early offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss and now the defending champs.

"I've been surprised throughout this whole process," said Patterson. "Being such a young prospect, getting SEC offers is a dream. As a kid, you wonder if you can play there one day.

"It pays off when the words of an offer come out of their mouth."

The Alabama extension meant a lot considering it was from Nick Saban, in his office.

"It was an honor getting it from the head coach," the class of 2015 prospect admitted. "I watch him on TV like that's Nick Saban, a national championship guy. They do things right over there…

"It changes the game a little bit, I like their campus what they're doing up there."

Patterson also got to meet new offensive line coach Mario Cristobal.

"He was real cool, he was new to the game," he said. "He said he likes to teach and he's about getting after it. It was nice meeting him; he's a real nice guy."

Mom was pleased with the Tuscaloosa experience in the process.

"She was in love; she loved the words the coaches were saying about being a batter person and player," said Patterson. "We were real surprised; we talk about stuff like that all the time."

Not only was the family pleased, but Jackson got news of an offer in the process. It sparked another conversation about the close friends playing together at the next level.

"We talked about it on the walk to the basketball game, he as like ‘let's go!'" said Patterson with a laugh. "It was a thrill for both of us from the same team to have one, and he's my cousin too."

Though not ready to talk favorites just yet, each player envisions himself in the SEC.

"I'll probably play in the SEC," the sophomore admitted. "It's a great thing; it's a big-time deal there. That's where the real competition is."

Patterson, who has yet to outline his camp schedule for the summer, has been asked to take part in Alabama's O-line/D-line camp in addition to many others.

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