Ole Miss Recruiting: Five-Star Quarterback Shea Patterson Commits; Where Does He Fit Into Things?


OXFORD — The 6ft. – 2in., 190 lb. five-star quarterback prospect, Shea Patterson has verbally committed to Ole Miss. He comes as the Rebels’ highest rated high school quarterback since Eli Manning. So, you know this is a big deal. But, where does he fit into things?

Today was a huge day of success in the recruiting world for Ole Miss. The Rebels received a verbal commitment from Shreveport’s five-star quarterback prospect, Shea Patterson. Patterson is a highly talented prospect coming out of the 2016 class and becomes Ole Miss’ ninth committed recruit from the class. He also rates higher than any other prospect coming out of this class that has committed to Ole Miss and is the highest rated high school quarterback to commit to the Rebels since Eli Manning. This is huge.

Since his sophomore year of high school, Patterson moved from Texas to Shreveport and has been attending Calvary Baptist. His level of performance over the course of the past two seasons has become a national notice in his recruitment. Patterson has accumulated over 5,000 passing yards, 72 touchdowns, and an impressive seven interceptions in just two seasons. He has also led Calvary Baptist to back-to-back state championships.

In the 2014 Division III finals, Patterson and Calvary Baptist faced off against 2015 four-star quarterback Jason Pellerin and New Iberia Catholic for the state title of Louisiana. By the way, Pellerin signed with the Ole Miss Rebels in the 2015 class. Calvary Baptist went on to beat the Panthers, 27-24. It was not the first time these two quarterbacks had faced each other in the state playoffs. The year before, they met in the semi-finals, where Calvary Baptist won, 34-33.

There is no question now. Hugh Freeze has an enormous amount of talent at quarterback, and with an addition of Patterson, the thoughts of what the team can do on offense are endless. Patterson is labeled as a pro-style quarterback, but don’t let that fool you. He may not be the fastest of the scrambling quarterbacks, but he is quick on his feet when called upon to gain those extra needed yards. His patience in pocket and accuracy are a gift that any top-rated school would dream of having.

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Patterson is expected to be eligible to enroll into college by January of 2016. By him early enrolling, Rebel fans could see his cannon up close by as early as next year’s spring practices, including the Grove Bowl. Now that he has committed to Ole Miss, all that is left is for him to sign the dotted line. Rebel fans know from the experiences of the 2015 National Signing Day, saying it is one thing. However, Patterson is looking for an early enrollment, that is why he wasted no time in his announcement, and appears to be loyal to his own decision.

So, why is Patterson so eager to enroll and get on the field ahead of schedule? Because, he expects to make a huge impact right away.

“They have Chad Kelly there now and a few young quarterbacks as well but when I get there, I’m planning on being ready to compete for the job right away, that’s where my mindset is at right now,” Patterson said in an interview with Scout.com.

"“I liked USC a lot and was really close with Coach Sark and Coach Helton,” Patterson said. “I visited twice and I have a ton of respect for the program, their ability to develop quarterbacks and I loved the weather out there too. My QB coach is out there as well but I just felt like I belonged at Ole Miss. Like I said, they recruited me harder than the other schools and that definitely played a role in my decision.”“When a school puts so much faith in you and leaves no doubt about what they think of you and how much they want you like Ole Miss did, it means a lot. I have no doubts about my decision, I’m 100% locked in with Ole Miss and I’m completely shutting down the process now. Now I can focus on just enjoying baseball season and then spring football as well without worrying about recruiting any more. It’s definitely a big load off my back and I’m thrilled to be a Rebel.”"

So, how will the Ole Miss roster look behind center now? The Rebels signed two four-star quarterbacks in 2013, one four-star in 2014, and two four-stars in 2015, and now look to sign a five-star that is rated as high as the nation’s #1 QB in the 2016 class.

JUCO signee Chad Kelly has proven he is a championship style quarterback. He followed the shadows of Bo Wallace, by leading EMCC (with 3,906 passing yards and 45 touchdowns) to another national title. Devante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan have already been on campus, and have proven themselves they can compete in the SEC after starting their journeys last season. There is also Kendrick Doss, who is the former four-star who signed in 2014 mentioned above. His redshirt will be lifted come next season.

Currently there are a lot opportunities for the Rebels at quarterback for next season. There is so much talent from every direction of playing style, that it will be one of the hardest decisions Freeze will make next season, by naming the starting quarterback. Will that selection and the addition of Patterson cause others to consider other options for their remaining eligibility in college? It may leave a lump in your throat saying it, but the answer is – yes. We’ve already seen this happen in the offseason with the running back position, as I’Tavius Mathers and Mark Dodson departed due to the continuing future of seldom playing time.

If Patterson is looking to make an impact right away, does Hugh Freeze go in that direction? Does he let Patterson compete for the starting role in 2016? Would that mean Kelly is a one year deal? Or does that mean Kincade and Buchanan will be the hype of the past at Ole Miss? Or, does Patterson receive a redshirt his freshman year to develop his growth? Those questions have a long waiting period to be answered. But, what is for certain is that things are starting to get very exciting at Ole Miss heading into chapter four.