Patterson on Verge of Decision

Four-star prospect J.J. Patterson believes a verbal commitment will come soon.

"I feel like I'm coming real close to making my final decision," Patterson said. "I feel like I've waited long enough to see if anything better is going to come. I feel like I know where I want to go. I've just got to see if that's the right decision for me and what I want to do."

Patterson, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle from Roanoke Rapids, holds scholarship offers from East Carolina, North Carolina, and NC State. He has visited all three schools, plus Duke.

"I have some schools that are far away that I'm considering, but most of the schools I'm really considering are close to home, because I'm a hometown type of guy," Patterson said. "I want to be close to home but kind of far away, so you get the best of both worlds. If not in-state, it would be somewhere like Clemson [or] somewhere not too far like Tennessee. Georgia and Alabama would be the farthest I'd go."

UNC has been Patterson's leader for much of his recruitment and continues to increase its lead.

"I think Carolina is leading the race by a whole shot now," Patterson said. "I haven't found anything wrong with that school, yet, to tell you the truth – unless it's hiding under the ground somewhere."

Patterson will make his latest visit to UNC on Saturday for the Tar Heels' Spring Game. He says there's a 50-50 chance he verbally commits during the trip.

"First, I'm going to talk to my mom and see how she feels about it," Patterson said. "And it's going to be based on how I feel, which changes day-by-day – like one day I wake up feeling like [UNC] is the perfect school [and] the next day I wake up thinking ‘Man, I have so many questions to ask.'"

The only other school Patterson is considering visiting within the next few weeks is Maryland.

"I was thinking about taking a visit to Auburn," Patterson said. "But I'm kind of nervous now with all that trouble they went through with Cam Newton."

Mentoring Patterson through the recruiting process is former teammate and current Tar Heel Kareem Martin.

"If I need any tips, that would be the person I go to first," Patterson said. "I talk to him every day about how to handle the process [or] if I'm confused about anything."

Martin, though, isn't pushing Patterson towards UNC.

"When the recruiting process started for me, I told him straight up that no matter what he said it wouldn't push me towards Carolina because anybody that goes to a school talks good about that school [and] they're not going to say anything bad about it," Patterson said.

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