A Change of Scenery Fits Patton

Instead of staying in his comfort zone on the West Coast and giving the Pac-10 another shot, San Francisco City College defensive lineman Thomas Patton wanted something new. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder is happy to report that place will be Iowa State.

Patton gave the Cyclones a commitment shortly after their bowl victory against Miami (Ohio) last week. This will be the second Division I program for Patton, who signed with and played for UCLA out of Oakland Tech High School. He spent two seasons in Los Angeles, including one as a redshirt, before opting for a change of scenery.

"I wanted to get out and do something new," said Thomas Patton. "It's just a great opportunity. I liked it out there and my parents like the school. The coaches were real up front with me in letting me know that I had a great chance to play, become a difference maker, and help the team where it needs help.

"The Big 12 is going well right now. There is competition anywhere you go, but I wanted something new. Iowa State was the total package and best fit for me."

Patton also considered scholarship offers from Oregon State, Missouri, UNLV, San Diego State, UTEP, and Marshall. He originally visited Ames in October and liked what he saw the rest of the way from ISU.

"My visit was great," he said. "I liked the staff, facilities, and community. It seems like a football town. It's the type of place where I hope to get to the next level."

Cyclone defensive coaches like what Patton brings to the table physically. He will be brought in to challenge immediately for a starting job at strong-side defensive end.

"They like my speed out there," Patton said. "I'm strong and am a great pass rusher. I can hold down the run against teams like Oklahoma State. They think I'm versatile. They have smaller ends and they're trying to go with some bigger guys that can collapse the pocket all the time."

Patton finished his redshirt sophomore season at CCSF with 12 sacks, 70 tackles, and two fumble recoveries, earning himself all-conference honors in the Coast Conference. He was a big-time get for UCLA coming out of Oakland Tech, where he was a high school All-American.

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