The path to college football scholarships isn’t an easy one for Canadian prospects. The disparity in gridiron competition is tough to overcome, but youngsters like 2016 CB prospect Patrice Rene are doing just that by making their way stateside to compete. That talented youngster made his mark at the Sound Mind Sound Body Academy last week and impressed a number of BCS coaches in the process.
“The camp went really well,” said Rene. “We learned a bunch of great things from great coaches. I had the chance to explore my talent and ball out. I talked to some coaches that really liked me and invited me to their camps and gave me their numbers, wanting me to contact them. Ohio State was definitely one of the big ones, Michigan, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Illinois came through too.”
The attention from the Wolverines was particularly impactful.
“I grew up a Michigan fan,” Rene explained. “I really like Michigan. Just watching football growing up, they always won. They were always a powerhouse in the league. They also have a rivalry against Ohio State, so I kind of like that. I like both teams. I like that competitive nature.”
The feeling was clearly mutual for those and a number of other schools. Akron actually extended him his first scholarship offer. As exciting as that was, though, Rene is a long way away from making a college decision.
“It depends on how recruiting is going, but I see myself (committing) at the end of my senior season," he stated. “I’ll analyze things and take the time to see where I want to go. It is a big decision. It is four years of my life. I really want to take my time and think well about this.”
“(It will come down to) just how the coaches are, how my family thinks about the school, and how close it is. I’d like to stay close to home, but I would still consider schools that are further away. Academics are also a big factor. Football doesn’t last forever, so I have to know what I want to do in the future.”
While he can’t predict which school he will wind up yet, he does know the feeling an offer from his childhood favorite would elicit.
“Oh that would mean a lot,” Rene said with a smile. “It would be really, really great because I look up to them and the coaching staff. I visited there actually last year with Michael O’Connor, so I really like vibe. It would just mean a great (deal) to get an offer from Michigan.”
If his game continues to blossom that’s a dream that he just may see.