"It was the first game of the season against Newberry, and I was all pumped up," Patterson told Pack Pride. "I had scored a touchdown on the first play of the game. I came back on defense and was playing safety. The running back cut one way, I tried to cut with him, and I felt it pop.
"I have never been injured before so I just thought it was a knee sprain, but after the MRI I found out it was torn.
"I'm going to be fine though. I'm having the surgery on Monday, and there is going to be six months of recovery. That will leave me two months to get ready for my freshman season in college."
Despite the bad news that his senior year on the gridiron was over, Patterson quickly learned that his recruitment wouldn't change due to the injury.
"I was sad by the fact that I got hurt, but I'm overjoyed that all the schools still are wanting me," he said. "Miami, Florida, Florida State, West Virginia, NC State, South Florida, and UCF are all still after me and that's great. Talking with the coaches, they have all said they want me at their school which makes me feel good."
Patterson claims offers from all of the schools recruiting him and has already set visits with NC State and Florida, two programs that he is really interested in.
"I've already set the official visits to NC State and Florida," Patterson said. "Coach Meyer is at Florida, and I like the way he approaches the game of football. It's a team game, and he stresses that with everybody working to win the national championship. It's also close to home and a nice university."
"Coach Dixon from NC State is like family," Patterson added. "He's like a legend around here. He played at my high school and was an all-american and went to Florida where he was great there. He went to school with my mom so they know each other real well.
"Coach Dixon is a great friend of the family. I know how he will run his [receivers], and it does give me an edge being a family member of the wide receiver coach because I will know what he expects if I decide to go to NC State."
|Melvin Patterson (Rick Babston/ACT)|
Looking for a deciding factor? Patterson doesn't hide the fact that he hopes to play as early as possible.
"Look at Derrick Williams, everybody wonders why he went to Penn State. It's all about playing," he said. "I'm not going to lie to you. South Florida is telling me I can come in and play, NC State is telling me I can come in and play, [and] UCF is telling me I can come in and play. If I end up at one of those schools it's going to be because of the playing time and the commitment they are making to me and also because it's going to be the best opportunity for me as a player and student.
"It's all about how hard you work. You don't have to go to a Miami or Florida State to reach your goals."
Patterson admits that academics will also factor into his decision. A special athlete, the four-star prospect is equally impressive in the classroom as he is a full academic qualifier with a 4.0 GPA and qualifying SAT score as well.
"My family stresses academics, and I have a 4.0 GPA," said Patterson. "It's funny, I was a nerd before all of this football stuff started and that has helped me get ready for college. I was qualified after the 11th grade so that won't be a problem for me."
At 6-foot-3 and 205-pounds, Patterson is a huge target at wide receiver blessed with great hands and toughness. He also excelled at safety for Santa Fe High, leaving the door open for the possibility of playing defense on the next level.
"I told the colleges I want to play wide receiver but if I have a better chance to play safety than that's where I want to play," he said. "I'm a team player so I'll do anything for the team. If it means playing defense that is what I'm going to do."
Despite numerous offers, Patterson has a solid top five and will likely choose one of those lucky programs.
"My top five would be Florida, Florida State, Miami, NC State, and West Virginia," he said. "No leaders right now... I'm just going to take my official visits unless I just get that urge saying it is the place to be.
"I'm going to go to the best college for me."