If there was one thing that jumped out to Lawrence North H.S. linebacker Will Patterson about his IU official visit this weekend, it was hospitality the Hoosiers extended. In fact, he might have enjoyed a bit too much of it.
The 6-0, 210-pound Patterson was one of 11 players who made official visits to IU last weekend, including seven of whom have already pledged to the play football in Bloomington next fall. His weekend included, among other things, the opportunity to meet all of the coaches, a handful of his future teammates, and to eat.
A whole lot.
"They fed us more than anything," said Patterson. "At some point I think I was eating because the food was in front of me and I wasn't even hungry. The hospitality was like no other."
That hospitality, coupled with the vision that IU Coach Terry Hoeppner and IU Assistant Coach Billy Lynch have talked to him about, has the All-State linebacker excited about his future as a Hoosier. He's expected to play outside linebacker at IU, a position that the Hoosiers need to re-stock with this year's recruiting class following the graduation of both Kyle Killion and Josh Moore.
Patterson is also a player who's versatile enough to play in the middle as well, and there have been some who think he could also wind up as a safety. For the time being the IU staff is focused on him playing outside linebacker, but he says he's willing and able to play wherever the staff decides he'd fit best.
"I'd feel comfortable at any of the three positions," said Patterson. "Safety would probably be the least comfortable because I haven't played much of it, but one thing about me is I tend to pick things up real quick, so if I was put there, I'd do as good as I could.
"But I think they want me at outside linebacker. It's all about controlling the space that I'd be in on the outside."
There's no questioning Patterson's productivity at the high school level. He helped his prep team to a 9-3 record by totaling 132 tackles, including 19 tackles for loss and four sacks. Patterson also had a trio of interceptions and scored three defensive touchdowns, returning a pair of his interceptions for scores and a fumble as well.
Patterson was joined on his official visit by his mother and his aunt, and the three had a chance to sit down with Hoeppner and Lynch Sunday morning to talk address any questions he might have about the IU program. But Patterson says he's pretty well versed on what he needs to do between now and next fall.
"I pretty much know what they expect of me," said Patterson. "Right now, it's about staying focused and finishing out this year and then when I get down there do good in my classes and stay focused and working hard on the field."
When Patterson does arrive next fall, he'll do so with at least seven of the players who were in Bloomington last weekend. That's a good sign according to Patterson, who came away impressed with the group that was in town over the weekend.
"I knew James Brewer because we played them, and I knew of Cody Faulkner because he's been on all the (Indiana) Super Teams," said Patterson. "I also got to meet some others, like Matt Mayberry. He seems really focused and a really good teammate. Really no one that I met brought the "I" concept to the table – they all seemed like team players."
Patterson, Hoosiers Hungry For Success
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