Jamal Patterson is one of the top wide receivers from the Peach State. Patterson, 6-2 and 194 pounds, is a four-star recruit from McDonough (Ga.) Henry County. Last season as a junior he caught 43 passes for 933 yards and 11 scores. Those are great numbers but to Patterson numbers don't mean as much as winning and showing a good example.
"Things are going real good with fall camp," Patterson said. "The team is looking real good. My goal this season is just to be a good leader. I want to lead on the field, off the field and in the classroom. More importantly, I want to be a leader to my teammates. Stats are nice but they are unpredictable. Besides, I always want to do better than the goals I set."
Henry County should be a power in Georgia class AA. They return 18 starters and come in ranked No.4 in the state. This summer, they were active in the 7-on-7 passing tournaments. Those events helped prepare this team for this coming fall.
"No question about it. Playing in all those passing tournaments really helped out. We all now have a better feel and rhythm with our quarterback Drew Little. We have great timing. The thing is what we run during the summer is what we run in the fall."
Patterson has also begun to narrow his field in recruiting. He is now down to six schools and has set up two official visits.
"I will visit Stanford (11-15 ) when they play USC and I will visit UCF (9-6 ) when they play USF. I also like Alabama, Clemson, Auburn, and Florida.
"I love the academics and athletics of Stanford. They are bringing in some great recruits. I mean some great players are headed their way.
"I love coach (Brent) Keys and coach (David) Kelly at UCF. I loved it there when I visited as well. I have a great bond with everyone there. I feel the school is underrated and so is the conference (USA). They produce some great players.
"I was at Alabama just two Saturdays ago. I went and saw Chris (Jackson) and a scrimmage there. They are young and have some great (young) players.
"I love that style of offense at Clemson. Everyone thinks they run so much because of (C.J.) Spiller and (James) Davis. They do run but they throw so much. It's a great offense for receivers.
"I like the new offense at Auburn. I, saw a scrimmage that opened my eyes a lot. I was done there a few weeks ago.
"Florida is great school overall. I like them and their style of offense. They are losing some wide receivers and I can come in and compete for a spot."
Patterson is ahead of the curve in terms of recruiting because he has already seen over 20 schools unofficially. Now it will come down to a few things.
"I want to have a chance to compete for a spot early and I rather not red-shirt. I want to bond with the community not just the coaches and players. I will decide when I feel most comfortable."