Seffner (Fla.) Armwood two-way line prospect Matt Patchan is one of the top prospects in the country for the Class of 2008. With more than 35 scholarship offers, the 6-foot-7, 265-pounder has had a lot to sort through in terms of narrowing down his choices.
Soon, Patchan will narrow his list.
"I'm going to narrow it down here after spring to five or seven or so and just shoot from there all over the country (making visits) and then make my decision during the school year."
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Patchan plays to graduate early and enroll at the school of his choice for the spring semester, 2008. He currently knows of two programs that are shoo-ins as far as making his list of finalists.
"I think there are two schools that are definitely going to make it so far for sure," Patchan said. "I think Miami (Fla.) and Florida both will make it for sure. Those two schools are definitely going to be in the top seven."
Patchan's father, who also is named Matt, played football at the University of Miami.
"I think it's a great program," the younger Patchan said. "(New Canes head coach) Randy Shannon has taken it to another level in recruiting. He's recruiting quality guys now. They signed a very talented quarterback last year in (fellow Tampa-area standout) Robert Marve. People don't know how good he is. They are also doing very well with this class. Miami also has been known to put people in the NFL. I mean, they went 6-6 last season and still had three people taken in first round."
The defending National Champion Gators also caught Patchan's eye.
"Florida is a great program also," he said. "(Florida head coach) Urban Meyer is coming up with monster recruiting classes also. They put like nine in the pros this year that's remarkable.
"Both are pretty good schools."
During the spring evaluation period, dozens of schools have been by to check on Patchan, including Notre Dame, which sent head coach Charlie Weis to the Tampa area to get a look at him. The Fighting Irish have now offered Patchan a scholarship.
"The other day, coach Weis came to see me from Notre Dame," he said. "He's a very good coach and it was exciting to talk to him on the phone. It was a good thing. It's always an honor to meet famous head coaches like that that. I think Notre Dame is a great school and great college. They have a shot just like every other college to acquire me."
Several other coaches have been by or are scheduled to come by, starting with Miami on Monday.
"Coach Meyer is supposed to come down some other time," he said. "There have been a ton of recruiters coming from all over the country. I think we've had Nebraska, Iowa, Florida State, Florida (assistant coaches) and Ohio State among others. I can't even remember everybody that came."
Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and Georgia, among others, are actively recruiting Patchan and are in the mix.
Patchan played his junior year at Freedom High in Tampa before transferring to Armwood. The jumbo athlete has been timed as fast as 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash and has run a four second pro shuttle. He projects as a left tackle or a defensive end at the collegiate level.
Patchan is a member of the pre-evaluation Rivals100.