UT chases TD Machine

Johnny Patrick has changed schools since last season but his stock with college scouts hasn't changed. They still consider him a prime target. No wonder. The guy's a veritable touchdown machine.

Patrick, a 6-0, 180-pound wide receiver, converted nine of the 23 receptions he made as a high school junior last fall into touchdowns, an eye-popping 39.1 success rate. He also piled up 417 receiving yards, an average of 18.1 per catch. As a sophomore he caught 43 balls for 506 yards and eight TDs.

After two seasons at Deltona High School, he will play his senior year at Deland High.

Given his remarkably high level of production, it's little wonder Patrick is getting scholarship offers right and left these days. He had 17 at last count -- Tennessee, Georgia, Auburn, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, Duke, Louisville, Maryland, Marshall, Purdue, Indiana, South Florida, Central Florida, Florida International and Temple. Florida State is taking a long look, too.

''My top five is Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Louisville and South Carolina,'' Patrick told Ryan Jordan of Scout.com. ''My favorite school is Georgia.''

Patrick says he likes Georgia's coaching staff, particularly first-year running backs coach Kirby Smart, a former UGA defensive back who coached the LSU secondary last season before returning to his alma mater Jan. 16 of this year. Patrick definitely plans to visit the Athens campus before making a decision.

Asked by Jordan what he likes about Tennessee, Patrick replied, ''I like the whole program, and it's in the SEC.''

As for South Carolina, he said: ''Steve Spurrier spreads it around and runs a passing offense."

Patrick says his final decision will be based on how comfortable he feels with the coaching staff and the program. The fact Tennessee is a long way from Patrick's Florida home shouldn't be a problem.

''Distance and all that doesn't matter to me,'' he told Jordan. ''I can play anywhere.''

Patrick said he expects to make a commitment ''sometime before the season starts.''


Inside Tennessee Top Stories