Will Patterson pick UT?

The Tennessee coaching staff continues to leave no stone unturned as it looks to boost the 2012 roster with as many playmakers as possible. Sign in or subscribe to see which All-American spoke with InsideTennessee.com about the Volunteers.

In a league that's had at least five of the top 20 selections in the first round of the NFL Draft five years in a row, being able to earn a spot in the starting lineup straight out of summer camp in the Southeastern Conference is no easy task.

One player fielding offers from a long list of schools who has the ability to buck the trend and suit up in the SEC his first game on campus is Cordarrelle Patterson.

The four-star wide receiver at Hutchinson Community College takes calls from some of the most respected Div. I coaches in the country but appears to be taking all the attention in stride.

"It's going good so far," Patterson told InsideTennessee.com. "It's pretty nice with them taking their time to look at me. It makes me feel like I'm doing good things for myself and everything."

A coaching staff that's had a number of its members handle the phone in its recruitment of Patterson is Tennessee.

"They're recruiting me hard and all that stuff," he said. "They've been on me since Day One. If I have a top five, they'll be up there high."

His lead recruiter in charge of getting him to Knoxville is Darin Hinshaw.

"He's a good man," Patterson said of UT's quarterbacks coach.

Tennessee is sure to roll out the red carpet next week for a long list of big-time targets. Patterson plans to be a part of that group swinging into town, mentioning that it won't be his first trip to Rocky Top.

While he hasn't trimmed off any of the schools courting him, Patterson noted that joining Tennessee among the top schools after him are Georgia, Auburn, Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Ole Miss.

Patterson doesn't have a long checklist of things he expects out of his next stop.

"Just a place where I feel comfortable at," he said. "When I go there or wherever on my official visit if I feel like it's a place I need to be at."

Tennessee freshman quarterback Justin Worley.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)
As a graduate of Northwestern High School, Patterson has some ties to Vol freshman quarterback Justin Worley, the 2010 Gatorade National Player of the Year. The two were prep teammates under coach Jimmy Wallace.

"We're friends," Patterson said of he and Worley. "We communicate somewhat. He's not been on me that much, just been straight to me about some things and stuff."

Patterson arrived at the two-year college in Hutchinson, Kan., with little fan fare coming out of Rock Hill, S.C., as a 6-foot-2, 170-pound wide receiver unranked by Scout.com.

All No. 84 did was grow into a 6-4, 205-pound pigskin vacuum that earned NJCAA All-America honors last season. He helped the Blue Dragons go 10-2 — their highest win total since 1995 — with a second-place finish in the Jayhawk Conference and a Salt City Bowl victory.

Return specialists tend to be some of the more vertically challenged players on a football team's roster with exceptional quick-twitch ability and Olympic sprinter speed. Even at his size, Patterson excelled on special teams by averaging 34.2 yards per kick return and 23.4 yards per punt return.

"I feel like I can do anything I want to do. If my team needs me to do something, I'm going to try my best to do it for them," he said.

Hutchinson coach Rion Rhoades' top threat hauled in 52 catches for 908 yards and 11 touchdowns. Those numbers combined with Patterson's special teams play equal an all-purpose yardage total of 1,565.

When asked what type of offensive scheme he'd prefer to be a part of in college, he chose a Pro-Style offense, which is the same style run by Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and staff. However, he then quickly shifted gears.

"Well, it really doesn't matter as long as I'm getting the ball," he said.

Patterson doesn't have a date set for an announcement but the recruiting process that can sometimes get annoying for a student-athlete may push him to commit soon.

"I was going to wait until the middle of the season, but I don't know. I might make it sooner than that so I can get it over with," said Patterson, preferring to concentrate on his season ahead, which gets underway in just over a month.

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