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Who is Shea Patterson?

Photo by Tom Hauck

The college football world has now been officially introduced to Shea Patterson. Before stunning the 104,000 in attendance at Kyle Field this past Saturday, Patterson was a high school quarterback that every coach in the country wanted on their squad. As a new era of Ole Miss football begins, we answer the question: who is Shea Patterson?

Patterson was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1997, but eventually moved to Texas. He played his freshman year of high school for the Hidalgo Pirates in Hidalgo, Texas, where he accounted for 22 touchdowns and led his team to a district title. Shortly after his freshman season, he verbally committed to The University of Arizona, a commitment Rebel fans are thankful he didn’t keep. After his father Sean’s job took the family to Shreveport, Louisiana, Patterson played his sophomore and junior seasons for Calvary Baptist Academy. Patterson lit up the competition, throwing 34 and 38 touchdowns respectively while leading the Cavaliers to back-to-back state championships. 

Patterson went on to win MVP honors at the Elite 11 competition coached by Trent Dilfer. Fresh off of his performance at the Elite 11, Patterson transferred to IMG Academy, a school second to none for young athletes for his senior season. Patterson continued to bring good fortune to high schools across the country, leading IMG to their first undefeated season in school history. 

Patterson, the 5-star recruit, committed to the Rebels on November 2, 2015, and reaffirmed his pledge to Ole Miss despite teams like Alabama and Ohio State making last ditch efforts to land the blue chip QB. Patterson had received offers from seven SEC schools, and other big name programs such as Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, among countless others. An effort to bring Patterson to Oxford began when Coach Freeze saw him play in the 9th grade. After Patterson’s breakout game against Texas A&M, Freeze talked about his opportunity to watch him play in high school and what pushed him to land the talented young QB.

“I’ve kind of known all along that he just had that kind of ‘it’ quality,” Freeze said. “I leave very few high school games feeling like the kid is just a no-brainer, but I had one opportunity to watch him play, and I left that game kinda with a man-crush on him. I just saw a kid that had such poise and great mechanics. He could run; he could throw. At the end of the day, he just makes plays.” 

As far as why Patterson chose Ole Miss, he credited the atmosphere at the stadium, the campus and the fact that he couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else. 

“Whenever I go to a game, I try to visualize myself in their uniform and with their fans. I try to get that sense of can I see myself playing there,” Patterson told Bleacher Report last year. “I only saw it with one school.”

After high school, Patterson continued to show why he was one of the top rated QBs in the country. Participating in the Army All-American Game, Patterson went 6-10 for 90 yards and two TDs en route to being named the annual all-star game’s MVP. 

Patterson enrolled early at Ole Miss and began the process of what he and many others believed to be a redshirt season. After an injury to Chad Kelly, Patterson was thrust into action this past Saturday, and I think we all know how that went

Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com

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