RECRUITING: Leader emerges for coveted Chicago LB

Chicago LB Chris Patterson names a leader and his other favorites and his trip to Norman for OU's summer camp last week


I overheard one of the OU football coaches say at the OU fooball camp last week that Patterson couldn't still be a senior in high school, because he was built and already played like the college linebackers on the Sooner squad. That certainly means something when you consider the Sooners may have the best linebacker core in the country.

"That kind of talk makes me feel great," said Patterson. "I have a great coach at Hubbard (Elton Harris). He is always telling me that I have a big upside and that I need to work hard and make it up to the upside."

Patterson is a rare four-year starter and finished his junior season with 127 tackles to go along with 80 solo stops. Patterson also had 13 sacks, four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and two interceptions, with one returned for a 60-yard touchdown.

Patterson can bench 320 pounds and a maxed out at 620 pounds on the squat. Oklahoma has been the only camp that Patterson has gone to at this time and he plans to go to Virginia next along with his teammate Marques Walton.

"Our coach actually uses some of the defensive systems that they use at Oklahoma, so I really get a chance to rome around," said Patterson. "Our defensive tackles are so active that the offensive line has to pay attention to them and that allows me to shot into the gaps more."

Patterson has some 30 offers at this points, but he already narrowed down some favorites.

"My top three are Oklahoma, Miami and USC," said Patterson. "Oklahoma had a great campus and everything is right there around the field. The practice, academic center and chow hall are all right there together. I had a chance to talk to some of the guys and they all loved it and all the guys were real cool. I finally had a chance to talk to Teddy Lehman and he was real cool and said that going to Oklahoma was the best thing that the has ever done."

What do you like about Miami?

"Miami has a good tradition and they continue to build on that position," Patterson said. "They build their defense off speed and that is what I like to see."

And the Trojans?

"I like the weather and I am looking to go to a place with some better weather. They are a program that is getting better and that was evident last year with Carson Palmer wining the Heisman Trophy."

So is there a favorite at this point?

"So far my favorite school is Oklahoma. I don't know if I will commit early, but I am thinking about it. I don't think I will get out and see Miami or USC this summer, because I don't want to take another long trip after Virginia."

Patterson wrestles at 215 and posted a 13-1 record and earned a berth at regionals in just his first year. Patterson also said that he would like to go to the same school with defensive tackle Marques Walton.

Patterson Profile

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories