We caught up with Florissant (Mo.) Hazelwood Central defensive back Nick Patterson last night to discuss the verbal commitment he made to Ohio State earlier in the week.
Patterson (6-2, 200, 4.5) became the 20th verbal commitment -- excluding grayshirt possibilities -- in a class that could number 25 or 26 by signing day when he picked the Buckeyes over Missouri and UCLA during a banquet at his school Monday night.
"I actually kind of had a feeling about it 2-1/2 weeks ago," Patterson told Bucknuts.com. "I was real close, but I still wanted to see those other schools, UCLA and Mizzou. I wanted to take my time and make absolutely sure that was the place for me."
Patterson had plenty to say when asked why he picked Ohio State.
"Oh, man, the whole Ohio State tradition, you can't get past that," he said. "The two times I've been there, once for the camp last summer and the other time for my official visit, I just had the right feeling from the team. My host on my visit was Ashton Youboty and I had talked to him as well when I was there for the camp.
"I was real excited to get a chance to talk to Nate Salley. You see him out there playing on TV. It was great to talk to him. We rode together to dinner one night when I was there. He didn't have to, but he sat down and talked to me."
Patterson also hit it off with a couple of OSU's verbal commitments during his visit over the weekend of Dec. 5.
"I enjoyed meeting and talking with all the guys there that weekend," Patterson said. "I really got along with Brandon Underwood and Dionte Johnson. I really hit it off with them. They were already verbally committed. I knew I had to go through the whole process and make the right decision for me.
"Plus, I really liked the city of Columbus. Everywhere we went, the people were real friendly. The coaches, the players and the recruits all got along well. I just had a gut feeling when I was there, but it was just my first visit. I wanted to make sure."
Patterson is ranked as the nation's No. 37 safety prospect. In his senior year, he had 71 tackles (54 solos), one interception, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery on defense. He was also a standout receiver with 45 catches for 823 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Patterson believes he may fit in best at safety at OSU, but he will also take a turn at cornerback.
"They have recruited some great corners with Ted Ginn Jr. and Underwood and Shaun Lane," Patterson said. "When I went to their camp, I went as a safety. But (defensive backs coach Mel) Tucker said he wanted to see me at cornerback. I think I impressed him a little bit.
"I probably feel more comfortable at safety because that is where I have played the majority of the time, but I'm open to try anything," he said.
Patterson is an outstanding student with a 4.167 GPA (he exceeds 4.0 because of weighted honors courses). He also has a 25 on the ACT.