2010 Countdown: #47 Adam Patterson

2010 Countdown: #47 Adam Patterson

July 18, 2010

Name: Adam Patterson
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 272 lbs.
High school: Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, SC
Position: Nose tackle/defensive end
Class: Redshirt senior
Jersey number: #99
Last year: I ranked Patterson #35. He made 1 tackle.

That #35 ranking seems just a bit overzealous in retrospect. Who am I kidding? That was probably the biggest miss of the entire countdown. Patterson was a highly recruited kid coming out of school (top 100, I swear!), but he hasn’t been able to translate that potential to college success. I didn’t pay a ton of attention to recruiting when Patterson came out of high school in 2006, but looking back at his high school highlights, those rankings had nothing to do with his football talents – they looked at his speed (4.64 in the forty) and size (6’3″, 256 lbs.) and just assumed he’d be a good football player. He had no technique whatsoever.

Last year I just had the crazy idea that a top-100 player at a position (defensive end) of zero depth could beat out a walk-on like Will Heininger. Heininger got a lot of run and made 10 tackles and half a sack. Patterson made one tackle. In three years, Patterson has produced 8 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. At least temporarily, Patterson has been bumped to nose tackle, but that might only have been because Mike Martin missed spring practice with an injury. At 272 lbs. and with the aforementioned lack of technique, I doubt Patterson is much of a threat to play at nose tackle, although the coaches did praise his quickness. With Ryan Van Bergen moving to defensive end and Anthony Lalota coming off his redshirt, those two will likely hold down the fort at end. Patterson looks to be a man caught in No Man’s Land. Hopefully he can contribute more in 2010 and his versatility is a positive, but he’s no better than third string at either position.

Prediction for 2010: Backup defensive lineman; 2 tackles


  1. Comments: 21379
    Jul 18, 2010 at 2:04 PM


    * How often does someone with raw materials like that (height, weight, speed) turn out to be relatively useless? (I realize it happens. It just seems more unbelievable when his ranking is considered.)

    * Do you find it interesting that the staff didn't jettison him prior to this year? Is it a simple matter of depth in that area?

    * I'd guess that he could be handy on special teams. Maybe?

  2. Comments: 21379
    Jul 18, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    1. I couldn't tell you how often it happens. I think it's rare that such a person is COMPLETELY useless, but those players don't necessarily have to be ranked in the top 100, either. It seems that a top 100 kid should have something more than speed and size.

    2. I wasn't really surprised that the coaches kept Patterson around. As far as I know, he hasn't been a troublemaker, and the depth on the defensive line is pretty thin outside of true freshmen. In addition, Michigan had plenty of scholarships to hand out, so it's not like they missed out on a promising freshman by keeping Patterson.

    3. He COULD be handy on special teams, but the coaches didn't use him there in the last several games of 2009. He didn't play at all after the Delaware State game. Perhaps he had an undisclosed injury, but otherwise, that's not very promising.

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