Pata, who began playing football in 9th grade, also competes on the varsity wrestling and track teams. As a junior, he threw the shot put 47 feet. Inside the classroom, he carries a 2.4 GPA and will test on June 8.
"I got a bunch of calls last month," Pata told me. "Florida called, Florida State, N.C. State, Auburn, North Carolina, Rutgers, there were a lot of them."
However, Pata hasn't heard from his top choice yet.
"Miami didn't call and I don't know why," he said. "They're my No. 1 choice. Randy Shannon stopped by the school to watch practice one day, but I haven't talked to him on the phone. They sent me a packet for their camp in the mail and I'm definitely going to that on June 22. Me, Courtney (Denson), and Ali (Highsmith) are going. I'm going to try to earn a scholarship offer there."
That's definitely a possibility for Pata, who I think is one of the state's premier defensive line prospects. "Florida State and Rutgers have already sent me scholarship offers," he said.
Pata also plans to camp at Auburn and North Carolina this summer.
"I'm going to go to a few different camps to see what happens," he said. "I'm keeping my options open, but I'm really hoping that UM comes through with a scholarship offer. I'm looking forward to that camp. They've always been my top choice and they always seem to produce good defensive linemen. I'd love to be a part of that, plus it's the hometown school."
Personally, I truly think that if Pata performs well at the UM summer camp, a scholarship offer will be there for the taking, just like it was for Baraka Atkins last season. I thought Terrell Walden was a UM caliber prospect this time last year but he didn't hear from UM in May. This year, I think it's Pata.