St. Louis Trinity Catholic football coach Cory Patterson to join Lovie Smith at Illinois

St. Louis Trinity Catholic football coach Cory Patterson became the latest to jump to the collegiate ranks (Photo: @IlliniFootball/Twitter screen shot) Photo: @IlliniFootball/Twitter screen shot

St. Louis Trinity Catholic football coach Cory Patterson to join Lovie Smith at Illinois

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St. Louis Trinity Catholic football coach Cory Patterson to join Lovie Smith at Illinois

The exodus from the high school coaching ranks to college continues, this time in a less familiar state: From Missouri to Illinois.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Trinity Catholic football coach Cory Patterson resigned from his position leading one of the state’s most prominent programs to take a position as tight ends coach at Illinois. Patterson spent five years at Trinity, three as the head coach with the 2016 and 2017 campaigns finishing a combined 21-2.

Smith’s desire to bring Patterson to Champaign-Urbana may be due in part to the highly touted prospects who play for him at Trinity. A trio of Smith’s current players — Quarterback Isaiah Williams, wide receiver Marcus Washington and linebacker Shammond Cooper — have already committed to play in the 2018 Under Armour All-America Game.

Isaiah Williams in particular is viewed as a program changer, a five-star recruit listed as an athlete who plays as a quarterback but could excel in truly any position on the field. Though he is just 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, Williams has blazing speed and athleticism, and would almost certainly step on the field from Day 1 at Illinois if he follows his coach.

Of course, that’s a huge if, and not the main reason why Smith went after Patterson.

“When (Smith) first met me he told me I could command a locker room, that I had that charisma,” Patterson told the Post-Dispatch. “We talked again, about aspirations to do something bigger.”

He’ll get a chance to do that starting now, even if it costs him the chance to coach one of the most talented high school squads in the nation.

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St. Louis Trinity Catholic football coach Cory Patterson to join Lovie Smith at Illinois

From one of Missouri’s top programs to a DI tight ends job

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