It wasn't all bad news for Indiana on Saturday, and IU Coach Terry Hoeppner has Will Patterson to thank for that.
Will Patterson, a 6-1, 215-pound linebacker from Indianapolis Lawrence North H.S., became the 13th player to pledge to the Hoosiers Saturday after the Indiana-Purdue game.
"I committed to Indiana on Saturday," said Patterson. "I was in town for the Indiana and Purdue game I was talking it over with Bill Lynch and then we both went over to Coach Hep and I told Coach Hep I wanted to play for him."
Patterson had to sit through a disappointing Hoosier loss that saw the offense unable to move the ball consistently. With four second-quarter turnovers, the Indiana defense was force to defend a short field with less than desirable results.
"It was disappointing to see them lose," said Patterson. "But I can relate to what happened. My high school team went through similar situations where the offense couldn't get anything going and the defense was on the field the whole game. Even if the defense is really, really great you can't win ballgames like that. Hopefully I can be able to help out and stop that from happening in the future."
Patterson had offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and Miami (OH), and attention from Purdue and Michigan. He narrowed the field to Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky before picking the Hoosiers.
"They're all good programs, but I wanted to be close as possible to my family," said Patterson. "That was the main thing for me. I couldn't go wrong with any of the three as far as academics, but I just liked Indiana overall and the concern with my family made it right for me. They're all great schools."
Indiana loses a trio of linebackers to graduation in the off-season. Starters Kyle Killion and John Pannozzo, along with part-time starter Josh Moore, must be replaced. The loss at linebacker makes this commitment more important because the lack of depth and the competition needed at linebacker. Patterson feels he can bring just that.
"I told Coach Lynch I was looking for somewhere that I could compete to play early and he told me that was an option at IU," said Patterson. "I'm going to go there and work and whether those seniors are there or not I plan to work hard and try to get playing time. That's just how I play."
When Patterson committed to the Hoosiers, he was the 13th recruit for Hoeppner and the sixth to sign from the state of Indiana. With Hoeppner being hired later than most new coaches, this will be his first true recruiting class, something Patterson is proud to be a part of.
"I'm exciting to be in Hep's first full recruiting class because I have a feeling it can be like my high school career," said Patterson. "We got a new coach when I first got there and we did better than the year before. We improved every year under him and the leadership and overall team concept was the best this year, my senior season. I feel like it's the same situation with Coach Hoeppner."
Patterson Talks about Commitment
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