There are several talented offensive lineman in the state of Florida this year, but you'll be hard pressed to find one better than Matt Patchan (6-foot-7, 252 pounds). Notre Dame saw his highlight tape recently and immediately got in touch with his head coach.
"Coach Weis called and he talked to coach Callahan at Armwood," Patchan responded when ask about his contact with Notre Dame. "Coach Callahan told me that coach Weis wanted to talk to me. He gave me the number to call coach Weis and after practice I called.
"I talked to him for a long time about Notre Dame and how things were going to play out. He told me that they were excited to recruit me and that I seemed like a real Notre Dame guy. I told him that I was excited about Notre Dame, so he sent the offer out that day.
"He said that I was a very good player and that I was a lot like Sam Young," Patchan explained. "He said that I had a lot of ability and that I was very athletic. They're recruiting to play tackle, but he told me that I could play both offense and defense. He said that he'd definitely give me the shot to play both, but I'd have to earn my spot on the offensive line and then I could compete and work my way into the mix at defensive line.
"I'm excited about that. That's one of the things that I'm going to consider when it comes time to choose my college. I do want to eventually play both ways and I want a fair shot at that. Just about everyone I've talked to has said that they are going to give me that chance. A lot of my offers are actually for defensive line, to play defensive end and defensive tackle. I'm excited about that. It's great."
Patchan already has a lot of options. With the addition of Notre Dame's offer, Matt has 56 scholarship offers. Although the Irish are coming in late compared to other programs, Patchan isn't going to hold that against them.
"It's not about when they come in, because you may not know somebody until their senior year," Patchan said. "It really comes down to what Notre Dame brings to the table and that's what I'm going to base my decision on.
"Notre Dame is up at the top. They're one of the most prestigious schools in the nation. I think coach Weis is bringing them back to the top. Ever since he got there he's turned the program around. The last 10 to 15 years they really hadn't been doing that good and now that he's there he's gotten them back in the mix. They've just gotten better since he got there. I'm excited to see where the program is going.
"Right now I haven't had a chance to get to as many places as I'd like, but there are some schools that I like; Miami, Florida Ole Miss, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Boston College are up there [along with Notre Dame]. There are a bunch of places that I still want to get to. I just haven't gotten a chance to get to all the places that I like, but hopefully I get that chance this summer.
"I did go to a Miami and Florida practice, because they're the closest," Matt said. "Hopefully I can get up to Notre Dame in the summer. Right now it's all about scheduling as to whether I can get up there. The biggest thing is if I have the time to get up there."
Matt did have a chance to compete in the Scout.com combine held a couple weeks ago. He competed against some of the best prospects in the state and he earned top honors on the day.
"I went to the Scout.com combine in Miami," Patchan said. "I actually won the MVP of that combine. The competition was good. I went against a bunch of guys that are highly rated. I can't remember the kids I went up against, but they said that they were really good players. I did really good against them all. I also did well in the testing part. I ran a 4.70 forty. I had a 33-inch vertical jump and a 4.3 20-yard shuttle."