Getting the top prospects out of the state of South Carolina is always a challenge with Clemson and South Carolina usually standing in the way of that happening. Columbia (S.C.) Richland Northeast defensive tackle Adam Patterson is exploring his options and both in-state and out of state remains a distinct possibility.
"South Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Florida, Michigan and N.C. State are recruiting me the hardest right now," Patterson, ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 5 defensive tackle and the No. 48 player overall.
"Those are the main teams that I'm looking at. I don't want to name any top teams yet. I could name a couple today and it could change by next week. I need to make sure and hear from each school and check them all out before I narrow anything down."
And the feeling out process is well underway.
"I called Florida the other day," Patterson said. "I talked to South Carolina recently and Clemson, too. I really like Steve Spurrier. I get a real good vibe off him. He gives me a good feeling about things and he's a good coach."
He's even talking to some schools about where he might play. Some have peaked his interest by talking to him about playing defensive end.
"South Carolina, N.C. State, and Georgia want me to play defensive end, but Florida and Oklahoma both want me to play defensive tackle," Patterson said.
"They tell me I could either be one of the quickest defensive tackles around or I could just be a defensive end with average speed. I want to play defensive end, though. That position runs in my family. My father and my brothers both played defensive end, so I'd almost say it runs through my blood."
While Patterson admits he's a long, long way from a decision, he does have a few places that he'd like to visit in mind.
"I'm going to want to take a visit to Oklahoma," he said. "I might try Auburn, too. Those are the only two I'm really thinking about for sure right now. They sent me their schedules so I need to look at which games I want to go to.
"I'm going to take it as it comes. Only God knows when I'll make my decision. I really have no set time. I think I'll wait until signing day instead of trying to focus on recruiting during my season. I want to focus on the season, because it's very important to me and the rest of the team. I just want to focus on this season and my school work, as well."
When the time does come, Patterson does have an idea what the special school will have.
"I want to play early, as a freshman," he said. "I want to get the feel for the game early. I want to see what I'm up against and how much I need to improve. Playing early, I can adapt to the level better than sitting on the sidelines. Playing early is only going to get me better.
"I want to find a place that gives me a good, warm feeling of being home. Having good fans that create a good atmosphere is a big deal to me, too. I want to go somewhere that loves football and loves the team."