Three-star Alabama native, Tadarrius Patterson has been one of the most highly recruited linebackers in the South region. Originally a Louisville commit, Patterson was recruited heavily over the past few weeks by Toledo, Rutgers, Kentucky and a few others. Instead, during an official visit to the Glass City on the weekend of January 20, Patterson fell in love with Northwest Ohio and left campus as a soon-to-be Rocket.
"I've committed," Patterson told us a little after 6 pm ET Sunday evening. "Just being around the coaches and players was a big get for me, plus the university and the city of Toledo."
During the official visit, Patterson had a chance to explore the city and talk with fellow Alabama native and current Toledo linebacker, Tre'Shun Wilson. Wilson, who saw some immediate playing time as a true-freshman in Northwest Ohio despite being a late addition to the 2016 recruiting class, gave Patterson a feel of campus.
"Tre'Shun just told me it was the best decision he's ever made and that it's a great program and university. The players and coach were down to earth and they really felt like family from just being around them," Patterson told us.
As one of the biggest uncommitted targets left for the Rockets prior to his visit, Patterson spoke a lot with Jason Candle and the Rocket coaching staff, which made a big impact on his decision.
"I spent a lot of time with the coaches and their families. I talked with Coach Candle, Coach Ward, and Coach George, it was great."
During his official visit, Patterson was accompanied by his aunt and mother, who both loved the Toledo campus as well.
The six-one, 220-pound linebacker will have a chance to play immediately on the Toledo defense. Patterson's strengths include his aggressiveness, athleticism, blitzing ability, and instincts. The George Washington Carver High School product has an impressive Scout.com analysis which reads:
"Patterson is a good athlete who can line up on the first two levels of a defense and make an impact. His top trait is his ability to get after the passer from either the defensive end or linebacker spot, using quickness and above-average technique to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. A rangy defender with long arms, Patterson has a wide tackle radius and uses his hands well against both the run and the pass. He will need to add bulk to his frame no matter his position at the next level."
Toledo's recruiting class currently ranks No. 1 in the Mid-American Conference as they continue to climb towards a Top-50 national class as well. Patterson was joined by Akron, Ohio athlete DeAmonte King who also committed this weekend.