Elite receiver takes in USC spring game

The Gamecocks played host to one of the top wide receiver prospects in the southeast on Saturday afternoon when Henry County (McDonough, GA) standout Jamal Patterson made it in for South Carolina's annual Garnet and Black Spring Game. How did Patterson enjoy his time at USC, and where do the Gamecocks now stand in the race for his services? Read inside to find out.

The 6'2", 186 pound Patterson, who is rated by Scout.com as the no. 32 wide receiver prospect in America this recruiting year, had already visited USC twice before - once for a summer camp and again for the Gamecocks' junior day in early February. However, he got to see a different side of South Carolina on Saturday when he was on hand for the Gamecocks' spring game.

"I went to South Carolina's spring game yesterday, and it was great. I liked it there a lot," said Patterson. "The fanbase was amazing. I didn't expect there to be that many fans there for a spring game."

Patterson also got to interact with several of the USC coaches while in Columbia, including head coach Steve Spurrier.

"I talked with Coach (Robert) Gillespie, Coach (Steve) Spurrier Jr., and Coach (Steve) Spurrier as soon as I got there. They said they need another receiver that can play early because they need more playmakers at the wideout position. Coach Spurrier said he likes my physical play and my speed. He says I'm a good red zone threat."

The Gamecocks played host to several other top recruits on Saturday, and Patterson said he enjoyed getting to know some of them as well.

"I already knew Nu'keese Richardson, and it was good seeing him again. I hung out with him, Chris Payne, D.J. Swearinger, Stephon Gilmore, and I met Aramis Hillary - the quarterback from the '08 signing class."

According to Patterson, he's not ready to name any favorites yet, but he admits that he's been impressed with the Gamecocks for a while and his most recent trip did nothing to hurt USC's standing with him.

"I don't have a top list of schools yet, but I've been impressed with South Carolina for a long time. That impressed me a lot more seeing how they threw the ball. It showed me a lot. I got to see how the receivers actually run their routes and their alignments and assignments. It helped out a lot to see how they run their packages. We run that offense as well, with a four-wide offense."

The Peach State standout is not sure when he'll come to a final decision, but he does know a few key factors that he'll be looking for when ultimately choosing his college destination.

"The academics, how I bond with the coaching staff, and playing early."

Patterson doesn't have any more visits scheduled for the near future as his track team is gearing up for the region and state finals, but he does plan to make a return trip to USC for a game in the fall.

Patterson is a member of Scout.com's initial Southeast 150 and projects to be a 4-star prospect when the full rankings are released. He caught 44 passes for 933 yards and 11 touchdowns during his junior season, and he boasts a sterling 4.0 GPA.

To discuss this article, visit GamecockAnthem's premium forum - The Golden Spur.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories