Less than 24 hours before putting on one of the top offensive lineman performances of the Scout.com combine in Davie, Floirda, junior tackle Matt Patchan took some time to talk about his recruitment.
At this point in the process, the tackle who claims to be up to 6-7, 263 pounds, says he doesn't have a current top five, or even top ten.
"I really don't have one," Patchan said. "I want to keep open to everyone right now. I'm still taking everything into consideration, trying to see what all the schools offer. All three of the instate schools have offered me, so they're all still in it."
He does have a plan in place for when he will be narrowing the schools down. It is safe to say that Patchan will be going about this process the right way, and it interested in making the best decision possible.
"What I'm going to do is have a top 10-12 after spring," Patchan said. "After that, I'll bring it down to my top five schools and take all my officials to those schools."
Since he claims offers from the big three schools in Florida, Patchan decided to share what he likes about each of the three.
Florida- "Florida is great," Patchan said. "They have a ton of talent. They're coming off a national championship and they just brought in a second straight number one recruiting class. I see some really big things in their future. I love Coach Meyer too. He is running a great program down there and I love how he works his practices.
"Coach Drayton is my area recruiter," Patchan said. "We talk pretty often, at least once a week. I talk to a lot of the other UF coaches too."
Miami- "Miami is always at the top when it comes to putting guys in NFL," Patchan said. "They'll get back to the top eventually. Coach Shannon is recruiting not only blue chip prospects, but also people with character."
Florida State- "Coach Bowden has so many victories," Patchan said. "I think a key to that has been surrounding himself with talent. They sort of trailed off like Miami this past year, but I'm confident they'll get back up too."
One of the benefits of his transfer from Freedom High School to Armwood has been the chance to play for an assistant coach who has gone through the same experiences Patchan is currently dealing with during his junior year, and soon to be senior season. Former Florida Gator offensive lineman Mike Pearson has been helping out at Armwood, and Patchan is very grateful for the influence he has already had while helping him on and off the field.
"Coach Pearson is a great coach," Patchan said. "He's very intelligent about the game. He knows the fundamentals very well. He is someone who knows the game and can pass knowledge to me. It's really cool because he's going to try out for the pros and that's what I have as my future goal, so it's exciting to see what it takes to get there."
"We haven't talked recruiting at all right now," Patchan said. "Obviously I will take his advice as much as possible though, because he's been through it before."
Another advantage of playing at a top level football school is the ability to spend time with players also being recruited. The relationship between Matt Patchan and Eric Smith already existed before his transfer to Armwood, but the offensive tackle claims that it has gotten much stronger since, and says that the two could possibly talk about playing together in college.
"Eric Smith and I talk about once a day," Patchan said. "He's a great kid, a hard worker, and is trying to get stronger and faster in the weight room. He's our leader here at Armwood. He's the one who tells people when to stop goofing off and starting getting to work. He's great to watch on the field, because he's so quick and explodes off the ball. Right now, we haven't talked about playing together at the next level, but I'm sure we'll have that conversation pretty soon."
A third characteristic of his move to Armwood is he immediately joins a school which is the early favorite to win a state title. To say that this is on Patchan's mind would be a great understatement.
"We want to win state," Patchan said. "That's why I transferred here. I'm pretty confident we will do just that. That's the goal and I'm almost positive that will happen."