As the last result of a fairly productive weekend, Tech closes out what's likely to be its 2016 receiving class (Save for if Grant Holloway commits- I think he's too much an athlete to pass up on) with another somewhat surprising commitment from Phillip Patterson, a wide receiver from Bayside in Virginia Beach. Patterson was not thought to be headed our way until recently- at the beginning of the month, he was thought to be headed to Duke- but he has some history with new receivers coach Zohn Burden, who had been his primary recruiter at ODU. Patterson joins Divine Deablo, Eric Kumah, and Samuel Denmark as the receivers. That total represents 4 of our current 15 recruits, per 247sports.com. As an off side note, previously recruited wide receiver Conner O'Donnell appears to have either backed out of his commitment, changed status somehow, or had his offer pulled. As always, Gobbler Country will update you on the status of his commitment as we find out.
Phillip Patterson (Virginia Beach, VA. 180lbs, 6'-2". Wide Receiver.)
One thing's clear from his tape, if we did end up switching him to defense, he'd have to play free safety. He's got ball awareness, but his tackling form and choices are poor. That can obviously be taught/changed to some degree, but some of it is an attitude thing as well. People have to want to wrap up and bring people down in an organized manner to actually do so.
As for a wide receiver prospect? Patterson might as well be a clone, somewhere between Kumah and Deablo. He's yet another decent-speed, slightly-underweight for his size, larger-height wide receiver that can high-point the ball and outfight people for tossup catches. Decent strength, decent hands.
I'm going to take a second to demonstrate a point, and that is, after some of the rather troublesome failings of our offensive skill players over the past few years, that Virginia tech has moved to recruiting people to play positions they played in high school. Say whatever you will about any of these recruits, they're all clearly receivers. There's not a converted quarterback among them. Phillips and Ford are the same way. Part of the problem Joel Caleb has had in climbing any depth chart was that he was an athlete playing quarterback recruited to play wherever they could stick him- there was no definition to his skill set that they wanted to stick him anywhere in particular. Marcus Davis was much the same way- an impressive athlete that had holes in his understanding of the game due to his shifty positional nature. I'm not saying that coaches can't change a player's position- sometimes it definitely works. Moving Wyatt Teller from defensive line to offensive line was an obvious great choice. But it seems that with Wide Receivers, Tech's offensive coaching staff does better if the sequence from high school to college is smooth. I'm glad that he has a relationship with Burden, and that he was formerly a Duke lean- Duke being interested means that he'd meet their high standards for the student part of the student-athlete.
Welcome to the class of 2016, Phillip!