WILMINGTON — On Tuesday night, Andre Patton scored 28 points, pulled down 18 rebounds and made two free throws with 0.4 of a second remaining to lift St. Elizabeth to a 47-46 basketball victory over Archmere.
Less than 12 hours later, Patton signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Rutgers University this morning.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior was named Delaware’s Defensive Player of the Year last fall as a strong safety, but he will play wide receiver for the Scarlet Knights. Patton starred on both sides of the ball at St. Elizabeth, catching 48 passes for 761 yards and eight touchdowns, and rushing for 677 yards and 14 scores last season.
“They have good coaches, good people, and I want to surround myself with good people at all times,” Patton said of Rutgers. “I might have a great opportunity to play next year.”
Patton said offensive coordinator Dave Brock’s decision to leave Rutgers to take over as head coach at the University of Delaware did not sway his commitment to the Piscataway, N.J., school, which is scheduled to leave the Big East Conference and join the Big Ten in 2014.
Patton said he also considered Purdue, West Virginia and Boston College, but chose Rutgers because it was the first major school to begin recruiting him and – at two hours from Wilmington – it is the closest to home.
St. Elizabeth pitcher Dan Galati also signed with Delaware State, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
“This is something I’ve been waiting for since I was 2 years old, when I started playing baseball,” Galati said. “It’s a dream come true, and I can’t wait to just keep working hard and hopefully be successful there, too.”