One of the biggest QB recruits in recent memory is no longer a college football free agent. On Monday, Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson announced that he is transferring to Michigan.
247Sports reported earlier this month that he was granted permission to explore a transfer. The Rebels were just hit with an extra bowl ban season and additional NCAA sanctions, and seniors can now transfer without penalty.
That doesn’t include Patterson, who will need to sit out a year before playing in Ann Arbor, leaving him two more years of potential eligibility. There’s a chance the NCAA could grant Patterson a waiver for immediate eligibility, if he applies for one.
The seniors are eligible due the bowl ban. The was part of the NCAA ruling. The rest need a waiver, the prevailing sentiments is that the NCAA will comply. https://t.co/HDhPNynmDX
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) December 11, 2017
Patterson started seven games for the Rebels this season as a true sophomore before sitting out the rest of the year after tearing his PCL against LSU. He passed for 17 touchdowns and 2,259 yards, while completing 63.9 percent of his passes.
Patterson was a mega-recruit in the class of 2016, a consensus five-star that was rated the top pro-style QB, and the 4th best recruit, period, in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite. Patterson had offers from virtually every major power, including USC, Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and more.
Ole Miss had reportedly put some restrictions on where Patterson can go, prohibiting a move to any SEC program, or school that will be on Ole Miss’ schedule for the next two seasons.
Our Michigan blog has noted he’s following a bunch of Michigan players and coaches on Twitter, and the Wolverines are short on QB depth. Patterson’s decision comes fresh off of an official visit to Michigan:
On Saturday Patterson attended Michigan basketball’s overtime victory against UCLA, where the crowd chanted “We want Shea! We want Shea!” The fans have now received what they wanted.
It was an event filled weekend in Ann Arbor for Patterson. He attended the basketball game, threw snowballs on the field at the Big House, hung out with John O’Korn and had some late night fun, and got to try on a Wolverines helmet. And that’s just what we know about his visit, as Patterson likely had lots of time spent being shown the campus/team facilities and getting introduced to coaches.
Patterson brings a multi-faceted skill-set to the table, as he’s an elusive scrambler and has pop in his arm. Gunslinger is an appropriate word to describe the type of quarterback Patterson is at this point in his career. Jim Harbaugh will be coaching up the highly touted former No. 1 quarterback prospect.
It’ll be hard to imagine another QB with as strong a recruiting pedigree as Patterson hitting the transfer market this season, especially one that was productive as a starter.
And Ole Miss fans, cheer up. It’s not all bad news. After all, A.J. Brown made it pretty clear he isn’t leaving.