"I just walked into the door." Nick said after returning from Tulsa. "I got letters everywhere. There's like a hundred."
A hundred plus letters that include a recent offer from Iowa, but one can only speculate as to what else. "I haven't even sat down, so I have to go through all of them and see what they are all about." Nick said.
That's what it's been like though. Not even a trip to Tulsa could keep all the attention at bay. "Yeah, they were contacting me, even down there." he said. "It's just been pretty crazy."
Crazy in these terms is a good thing as it would seem that Nick Patton's already enormous popularity is rising and just continues to rise. Patton is already considered to be one of the nation's best all-around signal-callers, so what else is there for him?
"I've still got my season to play." Nick said of his immediate goals. "I can't forget about that."
No, probably not and speaking of not forgetting, last time I talked to Nick, he had Kansas State and Nebraska as his co-leaders. Most people thought that the Wildcats were number one, but Patton said they were equal, because both of them had something he coveted very much, a tradition of black quarterbacks. Kansas State with El Roberson and of course, Michael Bishop and Nebraska with current starter, Jammal Lord and in their history, notables like Steve Taylor, Turner Gill and some guy named Tommie Frazier.
That has been vastly important to him, actually a key in those teams he is considering. And now, all of a sudden, Nebraska and Kansas State have been joined.
You recall the mention of Iowa, right? Does Brad Banks ring a bell? How about Missouri and Brad Smith and Korby Jones? Iowa State's Seneca Wallace, Tennessee's Tee Martin, all schools that give Patton comfort in knowing they are indeed equal-opportunity coaching staffs. A seemingly simple situation with just two schools isn't so simple anymore. "It's all mixed now." Nick said of his increased number of schools he is looking at. "There are so many schools now that are interested in me that have at least some tradition of black quarterbacks."
"I thought it was just NU and Kansas State for awhile, but now, it's a whole bunch of schools."
Nick has made an early list of those schools that he is now considering equal to the Huskers and the Wildcats, his top five being Kansas State, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Iowa State.
Now, if Nick has his way when it comes to officials, it won't be long before he takes them. "I want to take them as soon as possible." he said. "I would love to call up some coaches and get tickets to some of these games to see what it's like."
"There's so many big traditions of huge fan-followings and I wouldn't mind checking those out."
Does early officials mean an early decision though? "I don't know about that." Nick said. "I want to visit as soon as I can, but I'll still wait until it feels like I have found where I want to be. I'm not sure how long that will take, but I won't rush it, just to get it out of the way."
"It has to be right."
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619
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