“If Auburn isn’t my top one right now, it is fighting to be my number one school,” said the six-foot-six, 248-pound prospect, who noted his plan is to have a decision on August 30th before his sophomore season begins.
“Being in the SEC it is really different than where I was last week (Louisville),” he said. “The place is unbeatable.”
Another SEC program is on the official visit this week when he heads to Arkansas. After that he is considering trips to Southern Cal, Alabama and Ohio State.
Asked what will be the number one factor in making his college choice, Patton said, “Just family--being a part of something. At a juco you don’t get it. There are guys coming in and leaving. You are not building that foundation. I want to be in a permanent situation with permanent people that will have an impact on my life for a while.”
Jeremy Patton was a small forward in basketball and a tight end at Lawrence Central High in Indianapolis, Ind., before deciding to concentrate on football.
Patton said the Arizona Western experience has helped him improve as a football player. “I am going to be 10 times better. Last year I was 215, 220, so I am 248 and I am faster than I was. It is going to be scary.”
The tight end said he was timed at 4.58 in the 40-yard dash and believes he could beat that mark.
Commenting on his visit to Auburn, he said, “The first day we took an academic tour around campus and I got to meet a few of my future professors if I decide to come there. I took a tour and walked around and saw the Bo Jackson memorial and some of the Cam Newton things.
“Yesterday, we went to Coach’s (Gus Malzahn) house and went fishing and got to eat some good food. We took a tour of the stadium. I got to have a photo shoot with the jerseys. I had a great time.”
Auburn tight ends coach Scott Fountain is the lead recruiter for the Tigers. “Coach Fountain is a great,” Patton said. “He seems like he could develop me in any way I need to be developed.”
Patton said development is a key to success for him after he caught 17 passes for 316 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman.
“I was kind of a basketball guy coming out of high school, but I failed to meet my academic qualifications for the NCAA,” Patton said on how he got to a junior college out West. “Coach Tom Minnick from Arizona Western gave me a call and said he is great with tight ends. I played tight end in high school. He said a lot of guys go to Division I from there and then on to the pros so I said, ‘Why not?’ I took my shot and tried to make the best of it.”