The Zach Smith-Urban Meyer abuse scandal has finally taken a direct toll on the Ohio State football program, with the school’s first dedicated recruit backing away from their commitment since the scandal broke.
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As reported by Nashville sports radio host Brent Dougherty, four-star Christ Presbyterian Academy linebacker Kane Patterson de-committed from Ohio State a day after Urban Meyer’s apology to Courtney Smith and the Ohio State community, which followed the announcement that Meyer would be suspended for three games.
While Patterson’s Twitter profile still includes the detail that he is an Ohio State commit, here is the tweet sent by Dougherty describing the linebacker’s decision:
It’s possible that Patterson’s decommitment is unrelated to Meyer’s suspension and subsequent apology, which spoke to shortcomings within the program, but given the timing that seems somewhat unlikely.
Patterson is a top-10 linebacker recruit and top-10 overall prospect in the state of Tennessee, per 247Sports. He committed to Ohio State in July, but holds scholarship offers from many of the nation’s top programs, including Alabama, Clemson, Auburn, LSU and Oklahoma, among others. Now, if Dougherty is to be believed, the linebacker is most likely to attend one of those other programs beginning next year.