During a long weekend, Quincy Patterson logged a few thousand miles of travel, hours of campus tours and dozens of conversations with ACC coaches.
"It was really long, but it was well worth it," Patterson said. "Driving there it was 12 hours going straight to Virginia. Then from Virginia to Virginia Tech, it was three hours and we did that in the same day. Then we stayed at Virginia Tech overnight. Then we went to North Carolina, which was about three hours too. Then from North Carolina to NC State, it was like 40 minutes."
"There's not a huge difference," Patterson said. "But as far as facilities, you could kind of tell that in the ACC football is kind of like their main priority. Big Ten, that's not so much."
Patterson had a few major takeaways from the trip.
"As far as what stood out, one thing was Virginia Tech's engineering building," Patterson said. "My planned major is mechanical engineering, so I thought that was crazy. North Carolina's facilities are like no other's. NC State's coaches are like crazy. Virginia's campus, I know they said their campus is like the first public university ever to be built. I know there's a lot of history there with Thomas Jefferson, and that was pretty crazy."
The trip was designed to help Patterson make a quicker apples-to-apples comparison of some of the top schools on his list.
"As far as those four schools, I know they're in my top-six or -seven," Patterson said. "I decided to do them so quickly so I could really get a feel for each school and be able to compare them easier because I would have that fresh feeling of being in the school instead of visiting two months apart and you don't quite get that."
Patterson plans to visit Syracuse on March 4 and said he "more than likely" will make a verbal commitment in three weeks.
"I've been everywhere I've wanted," Patterson said. "I've seen everything I wanted to see. So I feel that once I get to Syracuse, I'll break it down. I think the decision will come easier than I think, and then I'll commit."
Patterson said the four ACC schools he just visited are on his list as well as three others.
"U of I (Illinois), of course," Patterson said. "Even though I haven't visited Syracuse yet, Syracuse. And Iowa. I really enjoy Iowa."
Illinois was the first power-five program to offer and has the longest relationship with Patterson, who has visited Champaign a handful of times. He wanted to visit Illinois again this weekend but a family obligation will prevent that trip.
"For the most part, we talk about every other day," Patterson said of Illinois.
What will weigh most during his decision-making process?
"Well, the one thing would be the engineering program, of course," Patterson said. "I know that Virginia Tech, U of I and NC State probably offer the best when it comes to engineering. But from a coaching or from facility basis or football standpoint, I know Iowa and North Carolina, they stand out in that category. The history they have of being really good. I don't know what'll come down to.
"It's definitely exciting because the recruiting process was a lot more stressful than I thought it would be. I mean, at first it was something not to enjoy, but once it's kind of died down, I've really enjoyed it."