Target 2004: Patrick Pinkney

Pine Forest quarterback Patrick Pinkney would like to ask everyone to kindly delete the "athlete" tag from his position listing on recruiting charts.

Oh, he's athletic -- a three-sport star -- but Pinkney plans to play under center in college.

"He's a quarterback, and I don't think his parents are going to let him go anywhere that he can't play quarterback," Trojans head coach Dean Saffos said.

According to Saffos, Pinkney already has at least one solid offer, but his father, an elementary school principal, won't let him say which school or schools they are from at this point.

A guest at UNC's Junior Day on March 22, Pinkney appears to have been quite impressed with his visit to the Carolina campus.

"The people make the difference at UNC," he said. "It's a great school. They've got a lot of great fans in the community and the academics are good."

Pinkney, who carries a 3.8 G.P.A., said his commitment likely will come after his senior football season.

"It won't be a quick decision," he said.

There has been little question that Pinkney would one day be a top Division I prospect ever since he threw for over 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman. He also rushed for over 500 yards and scored three touchdowns on the ground in 2000.

But after talking with him prior to his junior year, Pinkney also believed he would play quarterback, though many of the top colleges did not. He enters the final year of his prep career having already thrown for over 3,500 yards and 36 touchdowns and rushed for over 2,300 yards and 21 touchdowns.

"Everybody said I was nuts to start him as a freshman," Saffos said. "But when you don't have anybody else better, you start a freshman."

Pinkney said on Tuesday, and Saffos agreed, that Pinkney has developed into a savvy option-style quarterback, and that he is now being recruited that way.

"He used to panic a little bit, but now he's cool under fire," Saffos said. "If you drop eight on him to take away his passing, he can flat-out run you to death. We run a thing we call the ‘mid-line option,' and he reads that thing like a pro."

North Carolina and N.C. State have shown the most interest so far, out of the top three on Pinkney's list. Florida State has always been his first choice, but surprisingly, the Seminoles have not been in touch this year. Notre Dame and Miami are also actively courting Pinkney.

"He's going to be a really good option quarterback, and now he's coming into his own as a leader," Saffos said.

Patrick Pinkney
1st Position: QB
Height: 6-1
Weight: 182
40-Time: 4.6

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