WR Loves Family Tradition at UM

Melvin Patterson logged onto Scout.com recently and read that he was the No. 26 rated wide receiver prospect in the entire country. He had a few things to say about that.

"I'm happy that you guys have me as a four-star and everything but I can't figure out how some guys get rated over me," Patterson said. "People just don't understand the competition here in Florida. It's a lot different. I was watching some videos of other receivers from other states and it's crazy how much more speed there is in Florida. I just wonder how many of those other guys in other states would put up the same type of numbers if they played down here. I can't wait till I get to college and get to compete against some of those guys."

Melvin Patterson, 6-2 and 210 pounds, suffered a torn ACL in late August that ended his senior season. He's been rehabbing hard.

"I had the surgery on October 3rd," he said. "The guy who does the surgeries for UF and the Miami Dolphins worked on me. I see him once a week and go to the center (in Gainesville) twice a week. I'm doing rehab every single day. It's been two weeks now and Thursday I'll be off crutches. I've been doing everything they've said to. I really wanna be back for track season. They say rehab should take around six more months. I figure that will give me some time to run track and get back into the swing of things. I feel great."

Patterson, who seems very excited through his words, has continued to get recruited by a number of major college programs despite the injury.

"I got three visits lined up -- I go to NC State on January 20th, I got Florida on January 6th, and I'm also going to West Virginia," he said. "That's it for right now. I'm really trying to set something up with Miami."

The talented receiver, who is a full academic qualifier (4.0/1200+), talked about each of those programs, starting with the hometown flavor.

"Florida's right down the road," he said. "They're a really good school. They've got good coaches and everything. The only thing is, they have 18 wide receivers on the roster including walkons. I have the book they sent this summer. They love throwing and they rotate a lot of guys but 18, 18? Come on. The scheme's having a hard time right now. I saw last week Chris Leak had 5 passes and 7 yards at one point. They need to step it up. I'm friends with Cornelius Ingram and he's a redshirt freshman. He's already been passed by Josh Portis, who is a true freshman. Just because the school has prestige doesn't mean it's the best opportunity for me."

After getting recruited hard by West Virginia early, they backed off a bit until recently.

"I was being recruited hard," he said. "They're on the verge of becoming Big East champions. I hadnt heard from them in awhile so I called the coach and he told me he had a personal situation come up and he kinda fell behind. They're on me again now and I have a visit set there."

Patterson said N.C. State is high on his list because of the assistant coach there who is recruiting him.

"Coach Dwayne Dixon is the receivers coach there," he said. "He went to my high school. He's been on me hard from the beginning. He was the coach at Florida under Spurrier when they had all those great receivers. They need receivers there, too. I'm not sure why Florida let him go because if he was still at Florida, I probably would have committed on day one."

As much as he likes the three schools already mentioned, Patterson seems as excited about Miami as any of them.

"I'm just waiting on Miami," he said. "I talk to them all the time. Coach CJ is awesome. He coached Santana Moss, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, and all those guys. He's real cool. And Coach Soldinger is cool too. They know when to be serious and when to play around. I told them to save me a spot. They're still evaluating me for an offer, probably waiting to see how my rehab goes. I love Miami man. I love the way they treat you there. I went there earlier this year and saw Jon Vilma there. There he was, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and he's back there to work out. He said it's like family there and that a lot of former players come back like that. Now that's special, I don't care what anyone says. You don't get that at other schools. Miami is a place where they turn sleepers into superstars. It's because of their attitudes and their work ethic. Listening to the players, you can tell they have a certain level of confidence. They know they're the best. That's how I am and that's the type of competition I wanna be around. I'd go in there and try to beat someone out."

While Patterson knows his knee injury may be the reason UM has not yet offered, he's asked about that.

"They said they're still evaluating some guys," he said. "Frank Gore had two knee surgeries while he was there and now he's in the NFL. I told Coach Coker, whenever you offer, you know what time it is. I'm saving a visit for Miami."

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