Pata Opens Things Up

Miami (Fla.) Central standout defensive end Bryan Pata committed to the University of Miami shortly after he got offered by the Hurricanes in late June. Now, he's having second thoughts.

"I still like UM and everything, but I've never been out of Miami to see other places," Pata told me tonight. "When I committed, I wasn't really thinking about that. Now I realize that in order to make the best decision for myself, I need to visit some other schools. The six schools I'm considering are Miami, Florida State, Florida, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, and Rutgers. I plan on taking official visits to those schools."

With scholarship offers from all of his favorites, Pata said these schools haven't slowed down their recruitment since he announced for the Hurricanes.

"Those schools keep sending me stuff every day," he said. "I get hand-written letters from head coaches, I'm getting big yearbooks that talk all about the school and stuff like that."

So what are the chances that Pata will ultimately end up at Miami?

"I still like UM, but I've never even been out of this area," he said. "I know all about UM and what they are about and now I need to go check out some other places to find out where I'll be most comfortable."

At 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, Pata is coming off an awesome spring/summer that included a dominating performance in his spring jamboree, followed by outstanding performances at the Auburn and Miami summer camps.

"We've been working real hard this summer," he said. "We're trying to get to Tally [editor's note: Tallahassee is the home of the state championship game in December] and we're working really hard to accomplish that goal."

Personally, I think Pata is making the right choice. While I still think he'll ultimately end up signing with the Hurricanes, he should be given an opportunity to make sure he's making the right decision. We're talking about a kid that has never been out of south Florida and he simply wants to visit some schools that have offered him an opportunity. Every kid should be given that opportunity and most are.

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