Clemson defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables deserves the credit for landing the Tigers’ latest commitment on Tuesday, LB Kane Patterson of Nashville. But Venables and Tiger fans should give a hat tip to journalist Brett McMurphy.
Patterson committed to Ohio State in July and at that point he didn’t have a Clemson offer, though he had other offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Duke, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Then, in early August, McMurphy’s story on domestic abuse allegations against then Buckeye assistant Zack Smith led to the current suspension of head coach Urban Meyer.
Patterson decommitted in August and then picked up his Clemson offer. That set the wheels in motion for him to become a Tiger, but none of that would have happened without McMurphy’s reporting.
“I would have stayed committed to Ohio State,” Patterson said.
But that’s all behind him now and he’s more than satisfied with how things have turned out now that he’s a Clemson commitment.
“I really just couldn’t be any happier,” Patterson said. “I just knew that throughout this whole process that was just home for me. I’m just so happy to be there.”
And Venables is happy to have him as he’s having to rebuild his linebacking corps with the 2019 class.
“Me and Coach Venables have been talking and he was just saying how seven are going to be gone in like the next two years, so they are trying to load up on a new group of linebackers,” he said. “I thought that was pretty big for me.”
Patterson is the fifth linebacker to commit for 2019 and he’s excited for the chance to play in a scheme he feels fits him well.
“Coach Venables has told me they are super aggressive and they blitz a lot,” Patterson said. “That’s kind of part of my playing style that I love, just to blitz. They just attack and there is no easing up. Like he said, every game the goal is just a shut out. I just think that’s who I want to play under. I just love that about him.”
Saturday’s visit for the Furman game was just Patterson’s second to Clemson. He also visited as a sophomore. Each time he was impressed by what he saw.
“The facilities, of course, were as good as they get,” he said. “The game day experience, there’s really nothing like it, just watching them run down The Hill and touch The Rock, there’s nothing like it. Gives you goose bumps every time.”
Clemson had an in with Patterson in that his father and Tiger head coach Dabo Swinney were teammates at Alabama. By the way, his coach is former Furman quarterback Ingle Martin.
Patterson gives Clemson 24 commitments for the 2019 class which could number as many as 30 when it’s finished.