The non-early enrollee portion of the LSU Class of 2013 will report to campus next Friday, June 7. In advance of that, TSD is running signee updates on all 18 future Tigers.
Here's a detailed look at defensive end Michael Patterson, a Winnfield native who likes to go by one of the most dominant sports abbreviations of all-time – M.J.
After a stellar junior season that ended in the Dome, Patterson's recruitment picked up significantly. By the time the 2011 calendar year had flipped to 2012, the Winnfield High School junior had fielded offers from Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State and Nebraska. He was considered to be favoring Dan Mullen's Bulldogs by the time Signing Day 2012 arrived.
But then, in early March 2012, the home-state Tigers offered Patterson and he committed to LSU on the final day of the month – March 31, 2012. In the process he became LSU's fifth commitment and shortly thereafter attended the Bayou Picnic in May, helping recruit others to his future home. Patterson's lead recruiters at LSU were Greg Studrawa and Brick Haley. Studrawa was his primary recruiter.
Patterson was a three-star prospect by Scout.com and ranked the No. 50 defensive end in the country. TSD's Hunter Paniagua spent time with him in January at the Offense-Defense Bowl in Houston, and it appeared Patterson stood slightly south of the 6-foot-4 mark Scout gave him (probably closer to 6-2.5) and said he weighed between 230 and 235 pounds.
He is a flat-out pass-rushing end who spent equal time with a hand on the ground and standing up as more of an outside linebacker in high school. His athleticism is such that he even lined up at wide receiver occasionally. On the next level, he projects as a slightly undersized, speedy pass rusher at end in LSU's 4-3 system. His ceiling would look something like KeKe Mingo's while his basement, should he not progress any more, would be closer to current Tiger Justin Maclin's.
(what role will they have next year)
Patterson does not come into LSU with the same level of hype and expectations that fellow 2013 defensive end classmates Tashawn Bower and Frank Herron carry. A lot of that, though, has to do with a lack of size by comparison. Patterson told TSD in January that the LSU coaches want him to put on between 15 and 20 pounds by the time August and Fall Camp arrive. If he can do that and still maintain his athleticism and agility, Patterson could possibly throw his name into the mix – along with Lewis Neal – as under-the-radar performers who can contribute in year one.
The lack of depth at defensive end certainly leaves room for one or two freshmen who can play right away. But it will be a heck of a mountain to climb, objectively speaking, for Patterson to supplant Bower, Herron and even Neal for those honors. A redshirt year in 2013 is not out of the question for Patterson at all. Much of that will depend on how LSU's depth progresses and what injury at the position may possibly dictate.
Signee Update: M.J. Patterson
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