Pack Leads Big for Patterson

Alachua (FL) Santa Fe Wide Receiver Melvin Patterson injured his knee in the first game of the season, and the torn ACL ended his high school football career.

Months later, he is ahead of schedule on his rehab and is actually hoping to make it back in time to run track for Santa Fe.

"I'm jogging, running, and trying to get my speed back up," Melvin Patterson told Pack Pride. "I hope to get back for the end of track season. That's my goal."

Although he is progressing nicely from the injury, Patterson doesn't deny that it hindered his recruitment. After earning offers from Florida, NC State, West Virginia, Louisville, and South Florida among others, he believed that Miami and Florida State were going to offer with a big senior season.

That didn't happen and it appears the three-star prospect is leaning heavily towards NC State, mainly because of his relationship with Wolfpack wide receivers coach Dwayne Dixon.

"North Carolina State is #1," said Patterson. "I go up there on January 20th, and I'll come home to make my decision.

"It's a good program, and I feel a lot of love from coach Dixon. He played at my high school and is like a legend around here. I trust him, and I know I can fit in that program and what they are building at North Carolina State."

Patterson, who checks in at 6-foot-3 and 210-pounds, tallied 35 catches for 710 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. Prior to his injury, the dual-threat athlete was tabbed a four-star prospect and the nation's No. 26 wide receiver according to's Mike Bakas ranked Patterson No. 28 in his recent Florida Top 100 rankings and speaks highly of the talented wideout.

"Patterson has a tremendous combination of size, strength, and toughness," said Bakas. "He beats up opposing corners all day long and catches anything thrown his direction.

"He still needs to develop an extra gear downfield and there are quicker guys off the line. He has a chance to become a big time [wide receiver] in college."

After visiting NC State, will Patterson take another trip?

"I think that will be my last visit," he said. "I might go to South Florida or UF on the 27th, but I think if I go up there and feel comfortable that will be the place for me."

Not only is he a star on the gridiron, but Patterson also excels in the classroom.

"I got a 4.0 and I'm going to probably graduate at the top of my class," he said. "I was a nerd man, but it's paying off now because I'm fully qualified."

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