Gamecocks chasing elite Peach State WR

Henry County (McDonough, GA) standout wide receiver Jamal Patterson is considered by many to be one of the top pass catchers in America this recruiting year, and the elite Peach State product has the offer list to back it up. Where does South Carolina stand in the race for this highly touted receiver's services? Read inside to find out.

The 6'2", 188 pound Patterson, who is rated by as the nation's no. 32 wide receiver prospect, has racked up twenty three scholarship offers thus far, including tenders from major programs like Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida State, Clemson and several others.

South Carolina was one of the first schools to jump in the mix with Patterson last summer after he impressed at the Gamecocks' three day prospect camp, and he made a return trip to Columbia last month for USC's junior day.

"I had a really good time. It's a nice place. It's great," said Patterson. "We toured the facilities, and they showed us the weight room. I met with the academic advisors and watched a highlight tape on the team from last year. I met with the coaches. It was cool."

While on campus, Patterson had the opportunity to meet one on one with Head Coach Steve Spurrier, and he came away impressed with how USC utilizes the wide receiver position and the opportunity for early playing time in Columbia.

"We talked about how many receivers they have on the team and how they're doing. Coach Spurrier also talked about how he sees his quarterbacks doing well over the next couple of years. I love their offense. Coach Spurrier's style of play is great," he said. "Last year I know they only took one receiver, and this year they're losing their star receiver (Kenny) McKinley. I know there's going to be some spots open, especially with Coach Spurrier's offense. They use four-wide or three-wide all the time. I like that a lot."

Patterson, who is being recruited by Coach Robert Gillespie for the Gamecocks, said he's been talking recently with a pair of South Carolina recruits about potentially playing with them in Columbia.

"I've been talking with Chris Payne a lot about South Carolina. He just recently committed to them. I've been talking with him a lot as well as another receiver - Nu'keese Richardson. He was at South Carolina's camp with me last summer."

The Peach State standout plans to attend USC's Garnet and Black spring game on April 19th.

While the Gamecocks have made a positive impression on Patterson early on, he plans to visit all of the schools that have offered him before naming any favorites.

"I'm going to wait until I visit all of the schools (that have offered) to name any favorites. Right now it's just an honor to get offered by all of these schools because there's so many football players out there and they took the chance to offer me. I'm just proud of that, and I plan to show each school the same respect by visiting their campus."

Patterson, who was recently invited to both the U.S. Army All-American Game and the Under Armour All-American Game, isn't sure about a timeframe for a decision yet, but he does know several factors that he'll look for when deciding on his college choice.

"I'll look at academics first. That's why I'm going to college. I want to have a tight bond with the coaching staff, and I'll also see how fast I can get on the field. I'd like to get on the field my freshman year. I'll keep working hard so I can make an instant impact."

The elite wide receiver prospect closed by describing what type of skill set he brings to the gridiron.

"I have a huge catch radius. I can go across the middle and make tough catches in traffic. I show speed for my size, and I feel my route running helps me out a lot. I have an extra kick when I'm running. I have good jump ball ability, and at the Under Armour combine I had a 35 (inch vertical). I've been a big time red zone threat for my team."

In his junior season, Patterson hauled in 44 passes for 933 yards and 11 touchdowns. He's also a standout on the track and recently set a Henry County record in the 300 hurdles. Patterson holds a sterling 4.0 GPA.

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