Tana Patrick is one of the top 2-way players in the south for 2009 and holds several North Jackson High career, season, and game receiving records from his tight end position. He caught 15 passes in 2007 for 399 yards and 10 touchdowns. Scout.com lists him as the 2nd rated strong-side linebacker in the nation, and in 2007 he had 72 tackles, two quarterback sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Patrick was named ASWA All-State First Team 4A WR/TE his junior season and was named All-State first team as a sophomore by the ASWA. He recorded 110 tackles and two fumble recoveries; he recorded 16 receptions for 446 yards and five touchdowns during that year. Some of the top schools in the nation have offered the talented 4-star product as Patrick claims over15 offers at this time.
"I have over 15 offers right now," said Patrick. "USC, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU, Texas a&M and Ole Miss are some of the schools that have offered me. So far I'd say I am happy with that list and that I am comfortable with it right now."
Patrick was one of the top players last month at Seminole Showtime. The camp visit was Tana's first visit to FSU, and he says he came away wanting to visit them again.
"Showtime was great," said Patrick about his visit for the camp. "I loved every minute of it. It was cool getting a chance to meet the coaches, former players and some of the guys who play there now. I worked most with Coach Amato and Coach Andrews and I came away with some things that I plan on adding to my game. I didn't get a chance to see some things, but for my first time there I really enjoyed it. I hope I can get back there to see more of it on another visit."
Tana is one of the best players in Alabama. That fact usually means that he is a proverbial lock to stay in state because Alabama and Auburn rarely let the state's best players get away. Patrick says that some locals have been talking to him about staying home, but he says no matter what the school that fits him best will be the choice instate or not.
"Wherever is the best for me," says Patrick, "is where I am going to go. I haven't felt too much pressure from the people here but some people have mentioned Auburn and Alabama to me. Staying home isn't that important to me and I am wide open right now. I have to do what's best for me so I am looking for comfort, a good graduation rate and a chance to play early in my career. I know I'll have to learn the system but wherever I go I plan on competing and playing my hardest. Every school has a chance and everyone is in the same boat because I am learning about each program. Getting to know the coaches and players better is important to me."
Patrick is a big linebacker as he measures 6'3" and 230 pounds. One of the biggest aspects about Patrick as a player is how versatile he is at linebacker. That factor is why some of the best schools have offered, and he feels that's what sets him apart from other linebackers at this stage.
"I think my size and speed combo is what makes me stand out," explained Patrick. "I get to the ball well and I am versatile enough that I've played all 3 linebacker positions. My first 3 years of high school I played on the outside, but this year I'm moving inside. All of the colleges have told me that my ability to play the 3 spots is what they like most about me. This year I hope that I can just keep improving on every part of my game."
Patrick isn't in any rush to make his decision as he's focused on making the most out of his senior year on the gridiron. He plans on trimming his list at the end of the season then going from there. He told NoleDigest that we can expect a Signing Day decision from him.
"After the season I will trim my list," said Patrick. "Right now I am concentrating on my team and focusing on my season. I don't want to take anything away from my team so recruiting is on the side right now. I plan on using all of my officials and I think I will use all the time I have to make this decision. My parents are leaving this up to me so I need all the time I can get to make the right choice. Signing Day is when I will probably have my decision made."
Florida State made an impact on Tana when he attended their camp, and they're in the picture with a host of schools right now. He told NoleDigest that he is interested in FSU and that when coaches can start calling on September 1st that the Seminole coaches plan to contact him. Stay tuned to NoleDigest as we track Patrick's recruitment, as well as the rest of the recruits for the 2009 recruiting class.