By: Brendan C. Hall, USA TODAY High School Sports | December 3, 2018
Christ Presbyterian Academy (Nashville) quarterback/linebacker Kane Patterson received his All-American Bowl jersey Monday afternoon at his school as part of the All-American Bowl Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” Patterson told USA TODAY prior to the ceremony. “This is something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little kid. For them choosing me and selecting me, it’s just a dream come true.”
That caps a whirlwind 72 hours for the future Clemson Tiger. On Friday, Patterson led the Lions to the Tennessee Division II-AA state title with an MVP-winning performance, carrying 13 times for 110 yards and two scores on offense and chipping in with seven tackles (one for loss) on defense.
So, what’s better — winning a state championship in your last game as a high school player, or being named an All-American?
“That’s pretty hard,” Patterson chuckled. “But probably winning a state championship. Just playing with my buddies, we’ve been working at this for four years now. Going out on top, there’s nothing like it. That’s something I’ll cherish the rest of my life.
“It’s pretty crazy. It couldn’t end a better way. Having a 14-0 season and winning a state championship in my very last game, that’s something I’ll never forget to be thankful to God for.”
But it wasn’t all roses for the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Patterson, the No. 13 linebacker in the country and No. 7 overall prospect in Tennessee according to 247 Sports. Back in last year’s Division II-AA quarterfinals, Patterson tore his ACL, setting in motion a grueling nine-month recovery process.
But as the season grew on this fall, Patterson seemed to only get stronger. And in the process, he learned a lot about himself.
“You just can’t give up in life — everyone’s going to face hardships one time or another sometime in your life,” Patterson said. “You’ve just got to take it full head-on and attack it.”
He saved perhaps his best performances for the state playoffs:
Patterson initially committed to Ohio State back in the spring, but flipped to Clemson in September. He’ll be signing with the Tigers on Dec. 19, and will take his official visit to Death Valley in January. Right now, the plan is to fit Patterson at outside linebacker, but things could change.
Needless to say, Patterson was pleased with yesterday’s College Football Playoff pairings. Clemson drew Notre Dame for the semifinal, which will commence at 4 p.m. on Dec. 29 in the Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. Oddsmakers across the board give the Tigers the second-best odds to win it all, behind defending national champ Alabama.
“[Freshman quarterback] Trevor Lawrence is growing week by week on the offensive side,” Patterson said. “It’s crazy to think he’s still only 18-19 years old. Being a true freshman, he’s improved so much from the beginning of the year. The defense continues to just be really good, so I like their chances.”
The All-American Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 5 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.