To some it may have seemed like Michigan had fallen to the realm of the afterthoughts in the race for Jacques Patrick, but the four-star running back made it clear recently that it only seemed that way.
Despite a veritable who’s who of southern powers hot on his trail Patrick maintains a keen interest in the Wolverines. That’s a direct result of the connection he has forged with a few of his would-be coaches.
“Coach (Fred) Jackson is a very impressive guy,” said Patrick. “Coach Jackson came down here two weeks ago. He told me that it was his first time in Florida in a long time. That meant a lot because he came down to see me. He doesn’t usually come down recruiting Florida. That was obviously big for him to come do that.”
Doug Nussmeier has also made a few stops by Timber Creek since joining Michigan’s staff, and that too has been big.
“He was at Bama and Bama has been recruiting me since I was a freshman, so I know Coach Nuss” said Patrick. “Alabama had that massive offensive line and Michigan is going to have those guys too. The running backs that he had there were all great and probably went in the first or second rounds that were under him.”
While that is clearly a noteworthy attribute, it’s hardly one exclusive to the Wolverines on Patrick’s impressive list. Joining Michigan in his top ten Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, UCF, Florida State, Miami and Florida. That begs the question… with so many prominent suitors fairly close to home, would he really bypass them for a Midwest option?
“I got asked that question a couple of days ago actually,” noted Patrick. “It is like passing up models and every school is like a model. It is all about the feeling that you get there. Everything is going to look beautiful but it is all about the comfort level at each school. You can go to a school and it may be the most beautiful school in the world, but if you don’t feel comfortable there you’re not going to like it or like being there every day. So it’s about going to the school I’m most comfortable at.”
Wherever that may be.
Turns out Patrick may get significantly closer to figuring that out in a little over a month.
“I may narrow (his list) down at The Opening to five,” Patrick stated. “I’m still breaking things down. That top ten doesn’t mean anything to me any more because I can break it down to about six schools now, but I don’t want to break it down to six schools. I want five because I want to take my five officials to those five schools. Then I’m going to announce (his commitment) on October 27th.”
“(The decision will come down to) the coaching staff… the people you are going to be around every day… the strength coaches. Those are the people you are going to spend most of the time with and have that vibe. It is just human nature, if you don’t like the place you’re at, you’ll get that feeling. Those are going to be key factors.”
Stay tuned for more on Patrick in the coming days.