Bryan Pata Talks Recruiting

As this recruiting season winds down, a lot of eyes continue to be on Miami (Fla.) Central standout defensive end Bryan Pata. The talented defender made his official visit to Miami this past weekend.

"Oh man, it was so much fun," Pata said. "Actually, no, fun isn't the word for it. It was more than that. UM's a special place man. They've got a lot of good things going for them."

The highlight of his trip?

"When we were in the locker rooms, I really felt like putting the pads on to start playing," he said. "I wanted to get it on right then and there. We had those boys from New Orleans, a dude from Texas that weighed 360-some pounds. Joe Cohen, his teammate, we had a bunch of top guys. We were all ready to get it on."

Pata said he had a chance to meet with UM coaches and talk about the depth chart.

"The four guys that played most last season have all left," he said. "They're bringing back John Wood, Thomas Carroll, John Square and a couple other guys. Wood's a baller but the other two guys are a little light right now. There's a spot for me if I want to go."

Pata said he also got a chance to hang out with some of the players.

"I was chillin with John Wood, Kareem Brown, Jerome McDougle, William Joseph, and some of those guys," he said. "It's amazing how many of those guys are going to be millionaires. McDougle and Joseph might both be first rounders. That's where I'm going to be someday."

The standout defensive lineman said he also got a chance to meet several recruits on the trip. "Two defensive ends from New Orleans committed. They were cool, I really liked chillin with them, they're good guys."

Pata said he was able to room with linebacker Earl Everett.

"He's real cool," he said. "I was talking to him and hanging out with him all weekend. His mamma was there too and I even talked to her some. He said it's really a toss up between UM and Florida right now."

Speaking of a decision, what is Pata thinking at this point?

"I really liked UM but I'm just not sure yet," he said. "I have it narrowed down to UM, Florida, and Rutgers. I'm going to think about it for about a week. Next Wednesday is when everyone signs. I guess everyone will just have to wait and find out what I'm going to do. It might surprise some people, just wait and see."

Pata talked about each of his other two favorites.

Florida -- "I loved it up there on my visit. It's a great place. They're getting good guys too. Coach Ron Zook was in my house and he was telling me that Florida's going to sign the No. 1 recruiting class in the country and said how they're getting a lot of top guys. That's something I might want to be a part of."

Rutgers -- "Coach Cristobol is awesome. He's a great guy, I talk to him a lot. In the beginning I wasn't real interested but he made a difference. I loved my visit there and I felt real comfortable. Some of my teammates are going there and I'm definitely thinking about it too."

So does Pata have a leader among the three?

"Not really," he said. "I like all of them right now. It's even for now."

The standout defensive lineman said he's been working very hard getting ready for next season.

"I've been hitting the weights hard," he said after checking in at 263 pounds over the weekend. "I did upper body today. I work out every day something different. I was running today and I'm going to start doing more of that. I need to get in shape. When I get to college, I want to make a difference. People are going to know who I am. I'll make them. Anybody who thinks their job is secure better think twice because I'm coming in hungry. Remember, I got my senior season taken away from me. That still bothers me. That's still in my mind. You have no idea how much I want to play football right now. It actually hurts. Every night I go to bed thinking how much I want to start playing again. It's still eight months away and I'm going to be in the best shape of my life when two a days start. I can't wait."

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