Northwestern football coach Kyle Richardson got 32 calls Tuesday morning from coaches wanting to know where one of his prized former players, Cordarrelle Patterson, was going to chose this morning, National Signing Day.
In Hutchinson, Kan., at Hutchinson Community College, Blue Dragons offensive coordinator Josh Gooch said he has no idea where the player he described as the best he's ever seen would cast his final two years of college.
Patterson is a specimen, a big man with strength, speed and size. He went to Hutchinson strictly as a receiver, but the staff saw more than that in the 6-foot-4, 210-pound warrior. They decided he was too good not to use on kick returns, which has become his trademark.
Gooch said Patterson got offers from more than 30 Bowl Championship Series schools. Today at 10:25 a.m. Kansas time, he will announce his decision. The interest is such that Hutchinson will video stream the event live on its Web site, BlueDragonSports.com.
"He's a great one," Gooch said. "He's easily the best receiver that ever played here and he has a bright future no matter what school he chooses.
"He's done well academically and will graduate in the spring. On the football field, he's a touchdown maker. When he has the ball, he's gone in the blink of an eye. He's got a lot of deciding to do over the next two days."
Being in that position is nothing new to York County.
Last year, South Pointe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was the nation's No. 1 recruit. He chose South Carolina over Alabama and Clemson.
Patterson is ranked by several recruiting services as the No. 1 junior college recruit in the nation. None of the schools on Clowney's final list are on Patterson's. He will chose from, in alphabetical order: Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
If Tennessee is the choice, Patterson will be reunited with former Northwestern quarterback Justin Worley, last year's Gatorade Nation Football Player of the Year.
"I've made up my mind, but everyone will find out who it is in the morning," Patterson said by phone on Tuesday night. "I feel good about my decision and I'm gonna stick with it. I feel I've handled the recruiting process well.
"I owe a lot to the people here at Hutchinson. All that's happened here has been good. Being so far away from home hasn't bothered me. It's been a great experience and has helped me get ready to move on."
Patterson, the 2011 Jayhawk Conference Offensive Player of the Year, holds 15 career, single-season, or single-game Blue Dragons records. He caught 61 passes for 924 yards and he accounted for 1,814 all-purpose yards in helping the Blue Dragons to a 9-3 record and a victory in the Salt City Bowl.
More Trojans: Northwestern has no high school players signing today, but two of Patterson's former Trojans teammates at Georgia Military are headed to four-year schools.
Jarrett Neely is signing with Alabama State. Keon Stowers enrolled at Kansas after the first semester and signs today.
High schools: The number of local players signing today is down from last year, but the senior classes at local schools have quality talent.
The "biggest" signings are at Nation Ford, where football players J.J. McCullough plans to make good on his commitment to Clemson and J.T. with East Carolina. Sean Potts-Harris is headed to Southern Tech and Abri Tate to Bryant University.
Other football signees are: Rock Hill's Mitchell Jeter (The Citadel); South Pointe's Tay Hicklin, Corey Neely, Montay Crockett (Georgia Southern) and JaRyan Jennings (Newberry); York's Andre Foulks (Wingate); Lancaster's Shaquille Williams (Hutchinson Community College), Shaquille Elder (Feather River Community College, Quincy, Calif.) and Key Anthony Foster (Orangeburg Calhoun Tech Prep Academy); and Indian Land's Rondreas Truesdale (Delta State).
Clover's Mariann Marr and Samantha Satterlee are signing for soccer; Nation Ford's has Katie Bright (Eastern Kentucky), Ellen Bright (USC Upstate), Reid Grayson (U.S. Naval Academy), Conner Agnew (N.C. State) and Peyton Johnson (Anderson University) for soccer.
Also signing today is Fort Mill's cross country runner Meredith Kilburn, the Class AAA state champion, South Carolina's Runner of the Year and Gatorade's South Carolina Cross Country Runner of the Year.