It didn’t take long for Monticello football standout Sam Patterson to make his college decision. In fact, it was less than 24 hours after Patterson traveled to Lexington to visit VMI that he chose to play for the Keydets in the fall.
Patterson visited VMI and head coach Sparky Woods and committed just one day later.
“The coaching staff down there is great,” Patterson said. “[The coaches] definitely had a huge impact on my decision and they’ve been with me since day one after offering me a scholarship in December.”
The 6-foot-5 195-pound Covenant School transfer caught 30 passes in his senior season for 872 yards and nine touchdowns while also playing a key defensive roll for the Mustangs as a defensive end. Those accolades earned him first-team All-Jefferson District and first-team All-Region II honors on offense and second-team All-Region II accolades on defense.
“I was surrounded by a lot of great athletes here at Monticello,” Patterson said. “Coming from Covenant, I could tell a big difference in the type of players we had here and they helped me a lot this season.”
Along with VMI, Richmond also showed interest in Patterson and Virginia Tech came on late and wanted him to join the team as a walk-on. Even with other programs making efforts to sign him, Patterson knew the Keydets were the right fit for him all along.
“It was a long, stressful process but in the end, I knew VMI was the right fit for me,” Patterson said. “It’s going to be different going into college, especially with the military aspect of it but I think that will just make me a better player as well as a person.”
Patterson has also flourished at basketball and baseball during his high school career and was more touted as a baseball player before showcasing his skills on the gridiron this past fall. Concentrating on just one sport in college will now give him the opportunity to get even better at the wide receiver position.
“He’s still really young as a football player,” Monticello coach Rodney Redd said. “He hasn’t played much football but he has such raw athleticism and with his size he’s extremely explosive. I was most impressed with his toughness and I think VMI is a great fit for him and the quality of competition will make him better as a player and allow him to play right away.”