One benefit to recruiting on the same turf as your opponents is that you get to know very well even the players who don’t sign with you.
Such is the case for Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M as they host Ole Miss on Saturday. With starting quarterback Chad Kelly out for the season, Rebels coach Hugh Freeze is reportedly considering burning the redshirt of freshman QB Shea Patterson, a 5-star recruit out of IMG Academy in Louisiana.
It goes without saying that Kyle Field isn’t exactly the most welcoming environment for a first-time starter under center, let alone a 19-year-old freshman, no matter how many stars he was given out of high school. But added to that is Sumlin’s familiarity with Patterson, who the Aggies — and practically every other program in the country — recruited heavily. Louisiana, too, is a recruiting hotbed for the Aggies and the rest of the SEC.
“I saw a lot of Shea,” Sumlin said on the SEC coaches weekly teleconference Wednesday. “He was done early in the recruiting process, but we’re very, very familiar with that whole area.
“We have a number of players from that area of Louisiana and the country and were in touch with him early. He’s very, very talented. One of the top prospect in the country coming out that year and a guy we recruited heavily.”
Patterson signed with and enrolled at Ole Miss in January.
Sumlin, however, added that while, yes, he has seen plenty of Patterson as a high-schooler, “it’s really irrelevant to this week.”
No. 10 Texas A&M will look to bounce back from a loss to Mississippi State last week against Ole Miss. The game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on SEC Network.