Jack-Of-All-Trades

This South Georgia star does it all for his high school team in several sports.

Savannah, Ga.--Versatility is a word that's probably thrown around too often when talking in terms of a football player's ability. But, that word doesn't do justice when talking about Jenkins High School star Ben Patrick. Inside The Auburn Tigers that he feels like his season had some bright points.

And well it should when you play as many as eight different positions in one game. That might not sound impressive until you realize that this is a 6-4, 255-pounder who might line up at defensive end, linebacker, safety, quarterback, tailback, tight end, punter and kicker on a given night.

"I was somewhat pleased with my performance in some aspects of the game," he says. "I know I still have to work on some parts of my game, but for the most part it was a productive season." Finishing the season with 70 tackles and three sacks on defense and 400 yards passing on offense with another 300-plus in rushing yards, it's easy to see why Patrick has become one of the rising stars in the South this season. That attention has led schools from all over to come to Savannah to see Patrick in action, but the big guy says he doesn't have any favorites at the moment.

"I have a wide range of schools right now," he notes. "There have been a fair amount of recruiters around lately, but I can't say that I have a favorite at the moment." Having just returned from an official visit to Duke over the weekend, Patrick says that he really enjoyed his time in Durham, N.C., and will travel to Kentucky this coming weekend before a third official visit to Georgia later in the year.

While he hasn't decided which schools will get his last two visits, Patrick says that Auburn is definitely one of the universities he's considering taking a closer look at before making his decision.

"Obviously. they have a great football tradition," he says. "I went there for a game earlier but I didn't get to visit much of the area so I don't know how comfortable I would feel there. I will have to wait until I visit before I can make a decision or an assumption on Auburn."

Still very much wide open on his college choices, the future defensive end with 4.71 speed in the 40-yard dash says that his decision will be based on more than just football. A school will have to give him that certain feeling before they get his signature on the dotted line in February.

"Academics is of big importance to me," he notes. "As far as academics, every school has good academics, but I need a place where I am comfortable, where I feel like I fit in."

Tiger Ticket Extra: Still claiming baseball as his first love, Patrick says that he has only played football for two seasons after getting talked into playing the sport by friends. "It was a couple of things," he notes. "I never really liked football and I decided to give it a try and see what it was like. A lot of people told me they wanted me to see what it was like, give it one shot. I just decided to play a little ball. I've been glad I made that decision. It has paid off."

Playing pitcher, shortstop, catcher, center and left field for Jenkins on the baseball diamond, Patrick says that he just likes to play and really enjoys his time during the spring. His versatility doesn't stop there as he also plays basketball in the winter--at least this season. Although he hasn't played since the 9th grade, Patrick is suiting up at power forward this season and is averaging 11 points and nine rebounds a game.


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