Happy to be a Heel
J.J. Patterson
J.J. Patterson
Posted May 20, 2011

J.J. Patterson is one of the top defensive prospects in North Carolina, and he committed to North Carolina just over a month ago. Patterson talks about his decision to become a Tar Heel and his plans before he enrolls at Chapel Hill in the fall of 2012.

J.J Patterson (6'4/310) of Roanoke Rapids High School in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. is Scout’s No. 22 defensive tackle nationally. Patterson has been a mainstay on the yellow jackets’ offensive and defensive lines since the middle of his freshman year, and took his game to a new level during his junior season. He notched 62 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and two blocked kicks.

“He dominates kids at the high school level, is very strong at the point of attack, and way ahead of the curve in the weight room compared to other high school players,” said head coach Russell Weinstein.

Despite it being nearly 10 months until signing day at the time of his commitment, as well as early offers from North Carolina State, Wake Forest, and East Carolina, Patterson knew that he wanted to be a North Carolina Tar Heel.

“It was my dream school, it just had family feeling, and I just knew it was the place for me," said Patterson. "Another major factor in my decision was my relationship with the coaching staff; Coach Browning and Davis are real cool. I have also developed a good relationship with the new defensive line coach Joe Robinson; we talk once a week.”

Although Patterson has committed to the Heels, many schools are still in contact with him. North Carolina State, Wake Forest, East Carolina, Maryland, and Auburn are still actively recruiting him. When asked about the attention, Patterson did not waiver at all in his commitment.

“It’s nice, but I am 100% committed and cannot wait to get to Chapel Hill,” he said.

He only plans to attend a few combines, UNC’s summer camp, and to take his official visit there this fall. In preparation for the upcoming season Patterson has been working out every day and is currently 6’4”, 310 pounds. He has been timed as low as 4.93 in the forty yard dash, benches 425 pounds, and squats 465. Patterson has also been working hard on improving his lateral movement and technique.

When asked about his goals for his senior season, he had many, but was quick to put in perspective the importance of a strong start.

“Win the first game. We need to take it one week at a time. If we do that we should be able to make the playoffs and have successful run.”

His coach is certainly confident in his rising senior defensive tackle and feels that his best football is ahead of him.

“He is in the best shape of his life. I don’t think there is any question he is one of the best I have ever coached. If he becomes a master of technique and continues to work on his leverage, he is going to be a very, very good college football player,” Weinstein said.

Director of Scouting Scott Kennedy contributed to this report.

Related Stories
Patterson: 'It Was My Dream School'
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Apr 10, 2011
Patterson Commits
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Apr 9, 2011
Patterson on Verge of Decision
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Apr 5, 2011

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