Timber Creek’s junior running back Jacques Patrick is one of only 27 underclassmen who will be in Chicago this weekend when 100 top-tier college football prospects descend on Soldier Field for Under Armour’s answer to Nike’s The Opening.
The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour is being billed as a “preview of tomorrow's stars today,” and the NFL setting of Soldier Field was picked to provide these prospective future NFLers a taste of things pro-football style.
Of the 100 invitees, only six players are running backs, and only two of those — Patrick and Nicholas Brossette of Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab — are from the Class of 2015.
“It’s invitation-only and they only invited two running backs in my class so I’m guessing they think I’m one of the top running backs in the country,” said the humble Patrick in a bit of an understatement.
When you have 40 college football scholarship offers as a 16-year-old you tend to get the picture.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Patrick said. “A little over a year ago I had just gotten my first offer from Florida State and then I got 30 offers my sophomore year. Most of the big ones, like FSU and Florida and Alabama, came my freshman year, but I still got schools like Ohio State and Notre Dame offering this year … big things are happening for me and it’s just a blessing.”
Only 12 Florida players have been invited to the event, including one of Patrick’s fellow 2015 class members Shawn Burgess-Becker (6-2, 185), an up-and-coming prospect whose recruitment has picked up a lot of steam this spring.
Burgess-Becker, a multi-position athlete from Coconut Creek Monarch High, has 11 offers so far, with Alabama and Miami atop the list. Two other Florida 2015 prospects have also been invited in CB Tarvarus McFadden (6-2, 180) of Plantation American Heritage and CB Kevin Tolliver (6-2, 183) of Jacksonville Trinity Christian.
The other eight Florida players invited to Chicago are LB Dillon Bates (6-3, 220) of Ponte Vedra Nease, FSU commit LB Kain Daub (6-3, 234) of Jacksonville Sandalwood, WR Johnnie Dixon (5-11, 187) of Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, WR Ermon Lane (6-3, 193) of Homestead, Georgia commit RB Sony Michel (5-11, 205) of Plantation American Heritage, WR Travis Rudolph (6-1, 185) of West Palm beach Cardinal Newman, WR Artavis Scott (5-10, 175) of Tarpon Springs East Lake and OG Isaiah Wynn (6-2, 272) of St. Petersburg Lakewood.
Patrick, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound runner who eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark last season, currently holds Florida and Florida State as his two favorites from the 40 schools chasing him.
He’ll be taking advantage of his free travel expenses to the Windy City to break off on a little recruiting sojourn for him and his brother Javonte Seabury, a senior slot back at Timber Creek who has a track scholarship offer from the Naval Academy, as well as from Florida’s Webber University.
On the travel docket for the two brothers next week will be visits to Iowa and Wisconsin on Sunday; Northwestern and Western Michigan on Monday; Notre Dame on Tuesday, Michigan, Michigan State and Eastern Michigan on Wednesday; and Ohio State and Bowling Green on Thursday.
Seabury (5-9, 165) scored three touchdowns and caught five passes for 160 yards in the Wolves spring game and coach Jim Buckridge plans to use the versatile little speedster all over the field this season.
As for Seabury’s younger, bigger brother, the offer list is getting to be a bit cumbersome to keep track of, but Patrick appreciates all schools showing interest.
“I probably couldn’t name them all on the spot, off the top of my head, but if you ask me if a school has offered me I can tell you,” Patrick said. “It means a lot to me that a school is willing to give me the opportunity to come play and better yet, get a free education … I’m thankful to every school for the opportunity.”
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun