In the days leading up to the U.S. Army All-America Game, USA TODAY High School Sports will be checking in with a number of players for their accounts of the events and activities in San Antonio. This entry is from Shea Patterson, an IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) quarterback who will be enrolling at Ole Miss in a few days. He’s listed as the No. 1 quarterback in the 2016 class by Rivals.com and the No. 5 player overall by 247Sports.com. Last season at IMG, Patterson helped lead the Ascenders to a 9-0 record, completing 78 of 129 passes for 1,533 yards and 18 touchdowns and was named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Offense Second Team.
I’ve been getting a lot of attention for my haircut (three stripes on the side). It’s a little bit of a nod to adidas and to the Army. My hair was looking a little rough and adidas brought some barbers in. I was a little worried because I was seeing all these guys getting their hair chopped up really short, but it came out nice.
It’s nice being back in Texas for the game. I played my freshman year in South Texas (at Hildago), I have cousins coming in from New Mexico and a lot of immediate family coming for this game, probably 35 to 40 people.
I’ve been hanging out with the other quarterbacks, playing a lot of ping pong with Feleipe Franks and the other guys. We like to mess with each other about playing against each other for the next few years in college. I think the best thing about this week is just spending time with the guys. It’s cool to spend a week with them and relate to them. I talk to other guys here about recruiting, but I’m not overbearing. The biggest thing for me is to have fun.
Our offense is really simple. We’ve been taking it slowly. We only have 48 plays, so it didn’t take too long to get that down. At practice, I’ve worked in the boot a bit and some under center. A lot of stuff is going to break down in this game. The O line has such short practice time, so the D line has an advantage, so it helps to be mobile.