Getting to know Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson
Ole Miss landed its current starting quarterback in last year’s recruiting class. In the 2016 class, the Rebels will get their quarterback of the future.
Shea Patterson threw for nearly 8,500 yards and more than 120 touchdowns in high school at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. During his senior year, he led his team to an undefeated season. Patterson also won MVP honors at Nike’s Elite 11 Competition before the 2015 season.
IMG Academy is a private athletic training high school that allows teenagers to focus on their sport. Former SEC players Eli Manning, Darren McFadden, and Cam Newton all went to IMG. Other notable football alumni of the school include LaDainian Tomlinson, Anquan Boldin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tony Romo, Manti Te’o and Russell Wilson.
Patterson left his home in Shreveport, La., to attend IMG for his senior year. It was a tough transition, but Patterson has always had one goal in mind: play football.
“It was kind of hard leaving my friends, yeah” he told Rivals.com, “But, at the end of the day, I wanted to spend my senior year getting better and that’s why I came out here.”
THE QUIET ASSASSIN?
Patterson certainly has his fair share of Twitter followers. In fact, he has 14,000 of them, but that isn’t even half of what some other quarterbacks in the same recruiting class have on Twitter.
He doesn’t appear to seek out the limelight, although that could obviously change once he becomes a big man on campus. But for now, he is all football.
One of his best friends, Drake Davis, who went to IMG with him, had a hard time describing some of Patterson’s hobbies.
“I don’t know, man. He’s a weird guy,” Davis told Rivals.com. “He’s a football guy. He’s a leader, but he’s about football. He’s a weird guy. House music, though. He likes house music … like, techno. Shea Patterson and house music kind of go together.”
ALREADY ON CAMPUS
Scheduled visits from Ohio State and Alabama back in December made some Rebels fans a little uneasy about Patterson, but the quarterback has maintained his steadfast commitment to Ole Miss.
Patterson’s brother Sean, an offensive quality control assistant at LSU, started a job as associate director of recruiting operations for Ole Miss’ football program six days after Patterson announced his commitment to the Rebels.
Not only has he maintained his commitment, Patterson is already attending classes.
— Brennon Chapman (@B_ChapmanOM) January 25, 2016
ON THE RECRUITING TRAIL
Patterson committed back in February of last year, which has helped Ole Miss bring in one of the best recruiting classes for 2016.
The Rebels landed four four-star skill players on offense likely at least partially due to the early commitment from Patterson. Ole Miss fans are extremely excited to see Patterson and incoming wide receivers DeKaylin Metcalf and Tre Nixon develop together.
But Patterson isn’t just indirectly affecting Ole Miss recruiting. He has actively tried to encourage non-committed players to come to Oxford.
“That’s a big thing for me,” Patterson said to Red Cup Rebellion in reference to helping Ole Miss bring big-named recruits. “I try not to bash guys or be overwhelming about the recruiting process because I know how it felt when I wasn’t committed. But I throw pitches every now and then. You know, ‘Hey we can do something special here.’ Any chance I get, I throw something at them.”
Patterson also has routinely tweeted photos of Hugh Freeze with other incoming recruits when they announce their commitment to Ole Miss.
— Royce Newman (@RoyceNewman4488) January 25, 2016
DREW BREES COMPARISONS
Patterson is reportedly very religious. He has a picture of the crucifix as his Twitter cover photo. Patterson is a pro-style quarterback. Otherwise, Ole Miss fans would probably start hearing comparisons to Tim Tebow.
A much better comparison for Patterson would be New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees.
Similar to Brees, Patterson is a bit short for a college quarterback. He stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs 192 pounds. Another similarity is their decision-making.
One big difference, however, is Patterson’s ability to improvise. He moves around in the pocket a lot more than Brees does and uses his sharp footwork to allow things to develop downfield.
It’s Patterson’s rare Brees-like decision-making, combined with his mobility, that makes him such a coveted recruit.
WHAT TO EXPECT AS A TRUE FRESHMAN
More de-committing rumors circled Patterson and Ole Miss when Chad Kelly failed to declare for the NFL Draft in early January. Patterson has made it clear, however, that he has no problem redshirting his first year.
“All of the best quarterbacks have that redshirt year,” Patterson told Red Cup Rebellion. “I mean you look at Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel, all those guys all redshirted because they had a guy in front of them. Either way, I think it will be beneficial, whatever decision he (Kelly) decides to make — if he decides to go, it will be beneficial, or if he stays. In my eyes, there is no negative aspect to that decision.”
The best case scenario for Ole Miss would be to allow Patterson to learn behind Kelly in 2016. Kelly won’t have the same pieces around him like he did last year. But look at what Dak Prescott did for Mississippi State without much help his senior year. Kelly has the talent to have a similar type of season.
Then in 2017, Patterson would be the frontrunner to become the starter.
That’s not to say Patterson can’t push Kelly for the starting role. The two might compete over the summer. A healthy competition could make each better. But more than likely, Kelly will remain the starter and Patterson will play sparingly or redshirt.