SAN ANTONIO – Macon (Miss.) Noxubee County wide receiver Patrick Patterson is approaching his week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio as a learning experience and preparation for the next step in his football career. It didn't take him hitting the field for him to start that preparation either. To get to San Antonio, Patterson hopped on a plane for the first time in his life.
He also had a chance to prepare for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl through his experience at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
"The Mississippi-Alabama game, it went pretty good and it just prepared me for being away from home," Patterson said. "I look at this game as a preparation for college because we'll pretty much be doing everything we'll be doing in college."
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As for the college Patterson will select, several programs are anxiously awaiting word of his favorites but as of now, Patterson is not ready to put any one school at the top. He does have a group of four that has separated themselves.
"I'm looking at Ole Miss, Alabama, Southern Miss and the University of Tennessee," he said.
Tennessee is a new school in the mix thanks to renewed interest from new head coach Lane Kiffin.
"I talked to [Kiffin] and one of the assistant coaches," he said. "We talked probably about two weeks ago. They're a really good team. They just need a new coach in there to change things around. [Kiffin] was just talking about how they need a receiver to make plays for him next year."
Following the U.S. Army Bowl on Saturday, Patterson's month of January will continue on break-neck pace. He plans to take four official visits between now and signing day. He is scheduled to visit Alabama on Jan. 9, Southern Miss on Jan. 16, Ole Miss on Jan. 23 and Tennessee on Jan. 30.
Patterson said that the most important factors in his decision is the coaching staff and the offense.