"I really made a mistake when I told people I was committed [to Miami] after their summer camp," Pata said. "I was just so happy to get an offer and I just wanted people to know how happy I was."
However, there were a few problems with making such an early commitment.
"A lot of the schools that had been recruiting me called and they said they heard I was going to Miami," he said. "I told them I'm still interested in looking around because I haven't seen other schools."
The only other college campus Pata had seen to that point was Auburn's.
"I went up there for a camp," he said. "It just wasn't me though. I wasn't really feeling it. There was nothing to do there. But I knew I wanted to see some other schools."
When Sept. 1 rolled around and college coaches could begin calling again, Pata's phone never stopped ringing.
"Schools like Florida State, Florida, Oklahoma, and Rutgers were asking me if I wanted to take a visit," he said. "I told them yes but they asked if I was still committed to Miami. It's like some of them didn't believe me so that's when I started telling people I wasn't."
Pata wanted to take all five visits but unfortunately was only able to take three.
"My SAT scores came back late," he said. "I could only take three. I went to Rutgers first. It was tight up there. They're doing a great job and might be two years away from having a real good team. Plus they said I could start as a true freshman. But I think they sort of knew all along that I would end up at Miami."
The standout defensive lineman then took a trip to Florida.
"That was real tight," he said. "Florida's a great place. I'm sure they're going to get a lot of good guys. I even told them when I was up there that I was coming. They thought I was committed or something."
Pata took his third visit to UM.
"Man, I can't even describe the feeling I get when thinking about playing there," he said. "I've been dreaming about it for a long time. I'm finally goig to get a chance. The whole time I was on my visit, I just wanted to put the pads on and start knocking people around."
At 6-foot-3 1/2 and 260 pounds, Pata will sign with the Hurricanes on Wednesday morning.
"Coach Shannon was real with me all year," he said. "I can't wait to play for him. Coach Mark and Coach Coker also came by here one time and my family really liked them. That's who I want to play for."
Pata said he's excited about teaming up with some very talented defensive linemen.
"Me and Eric are going to be ballin out there," he said. "They need some defensive ends and we're going to give it everything we got. We're going to push each other. It'll be me on one side and him on the other. I can't wait."
Pata said he's going to spend the next several months getting ready to make an impact.
"I'm lifting every day," he said. "I do pushups, sit ups, everything I can. I'm also starting to run a lot more to stay conditioned. I'll be running all summer. I'll have to. UM's got some big boys out there that will want to push me around when I first get there. I won't let it happen. I may get knocked around a little at first but I'm going to fight right back. I'm not even going in looking to start or anything. I'm going in to fight, to compete, to give it everything I got. Those boys better be ready because I'm going to bring it."
When Pata asked about the status of Earl Everett -- who he roomed with on his visit to UM -- he was informed of Everett's decision.
"He's trippin," he said. "I know Florida's coming down here in September. I can't wait. They better be ready for us."
Speaking of the Gators, Pata said he hasn't spoken to them lately.
"Whenever I see Ron Zook calling me, I don't even bother picking it up," he said. "I'm going to UM."
Pata a Cane!
Canes Time Top Stories
State of the Canes: Offense, Week 5Lets take a close position-by-position look at MIami's offense through the first three games of the season.
Canes TimeYesterday at 1:10 PM
Canes Off to Fast Start Under RichtMiami Hurricanes football is 3-0 heading into a conference matchup against Georgia Tech. Find out what else is going right for the Canes under new head coach, Mark Richt courtesy…
Canes TimeWednesday at 3:41 PM
Wednesday Q&A with Manny DIazRead on to see everything defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was saying following Wednesday's practice.
Canes TimeWednesday at 12:46 PM
Richt Talks About Keys to Beating GTRead on to see everything Mark Richt was saying following Wednesday's practice.
Canes TimeWednesday at 12:32 PM
Tuesday Q&A with Mark RichtRead on to see everything head coach Mark Richt was saying on Tuesday morning as his team prepares to take on Georgia Tech Saturday.
Canes TimeTuesday at 11:15 AM