Visit Increases Lead for Patterson

After Saturday's visit, North Carolina has emerged as a clear cut leader for J.J. Patterson.

"Before, it was 51-percent [North] Carolina, 49-percent NC State," Patterson said. "Now, it's more like I'm definitely leaning towards Carolina. It's definitely my leader.

"I really like the fact that it's far, but it's close to home. It has like everything I'm looking for in a college. Every visit, I try to look at the bad stuff to see if I can find the negatives. But for some reason I can't seem to find the negatives of the school."

Regardless, Patterson, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle from Roanoke Rapids (N.C.), isn't any closer to making a verbal commitment.

"I want to make more visits," Patterson said. "I like Carolina; I just want to see what other schools have to offer. Like, I want to make a trip to Auburn."

Patterson, who has only visited Duke, UNC, and NC State, doesn't have any future visits scheduled. However, he is looking to plan visits to Auburn and Clemson, as well as return trips to UNC and NC State.

East Carolina, UNC, and NC State are still the only schools to have verbally offered Patterson a scholarship, but he has seen an increased interest from several programs, including Auburn, LSU, and Maryland.

Patterson anticipates making a verbal commitment sometime in August.

"I think I'll make my decision right before my football season," Patterson said.

In January, UNC provided Patterson with several potential dates for a follow-up visit to campus. He chose March 5, because it was the date of the UNC-Duke basketball game.

"I told Coach [Ken] Browning that that was the date I wanted to visit, so he set it up," Patterson said. "I was pretty excited because it was more than just a rivalry, but for the ACC title. I was pretty confident about North Carolina winning, especially after seeing them beating Virginia Tech."

Patterson arrived at UNC on Saturday afternoon accompanied by his parents and head football coach, Russell Weinstein.

After a quick campus tour, Patterson sat down with UNC's newly hired defensive line coach, Joe Robinson.

"I really liked him," Patterson said. "He talked to me about what he's trying to do with the program on the defensive side of the ball. And then we watched some film."

Patterson and company then met briefly with Butch Davis.

"[He discussed] what would go on at the school if I were to go there [and] what I would be doing," Patterson said.

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