CoachSpeak: Scouting Andre Patton

St. Elizabeth (Wilmington, Del.) wide receiver Andre Patton ended his recruitment with a verbal commitment last week to Rutgers. To get a better handle on what type of player Rutgers is getting, St. Elizabeth head coach Joe Hemphill weighed in on what his top play-maker brings to the college level.

St. Elizabeth (Wilmington, Del.) receiver Andre Patton was close to sold on Rutgers last month. But when news broke of the program's move to the Big Ten, Patton was ready to jump on board, said Joe Hemphill, his high school coach.

Patton verbally committed to Rutgers at last week's Louisville game and is the second prospect to commit since the move to the Big Ten.

"I think that Rutgers is going to be very happy with this kid," Hemphill said. "He's got all the tools to play at that level and, honestly, I think what made his mind up was when Rutgers announced that they were going to the Big Ten. He's very excited about it. Rutgers was very high on his list all along. His only apprehension was the Big East and, when that was gone, he loved everything about the school and I can't tell you how excited he was when he said they were going to the Big Ten."

Patton has close ties to linebackers coach Dave Cohen, who spearheaded his recruitment. But coming from Delaware, he is familiar with many members of the staff because of time spent in his state with the Blue Hens.

"I have a pretty good relationship with a couple of those guys and we really trust them," Hemphill said. "I have known Dave [Cohen] for years. I'm excited for it because I know he's happy about his decision. It's great because it's close enough that his family can get to games. I just think it's a great choice for him."

Patton led St. Elizabeth in rushing and receiving as a senior. The 6-foot-4 prospect ran for 677 yards on 109 carries and scored 14 touchdowns on the ground.

Through the air, Patton caught 48 passes for 761 yards and another eight scores. He projects as a true receiver for Rutgers, but is someone that can contribute early on special teams, Hemphill said.

"We used him as a rusher this year a lot because we didn't have a running back and he was our best athlete, to be honest," Hemphill said. "He's just such an outstanding athlete. He can do anything you need him to do on the football field. Obviously, every time we lined up he was getting double covered as a receiver. We saw every type of coverage you could imagine and they couldn't stop him. He's just too athletic. He's got too many tools."

Off the field, Patton is a perfect match for Rutgers as well, Hemphill said.

"He's great," he said. "The kid's got no baggage. He's got no distractions outside of school and outside of sports and that's a \tribute to his mother and father. … They're very strict in what they expect."

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