Patterson commits to Huntingdon
Hartselle OLB decides to play for the Hawks
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
Before the 2002 season, Hodge Patterson had no idea if it was his last year to play football – ever.
He had high hopes of playing four more years, but still, he wasn't sure.
After his Hartselle Tigers' run to the semi-finals, though, and a standout senior season, Patterson will play college football.
See PATTERSON, B-3
"I was really hoping to play college ball," Patterson said. "Before the season, I just wasn't sure."
Patterson, an outside linebacker for the Hartselle Tigers, committed to Huntingdon College of Montgomery earlier this year. Huntingdon will be in its first year of college football, competing on the NCAA Division III level.
Patterson was one of the leading tacklers for the Tigers this past season. He had two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two blocked punts while playing a key role for a talented defense and linebacker trio.
Patterson played alongside Ben Atchison, who has committed to Jacksonville State, and Juwan Ward, who is deciding between UAB and Southern Miss.
The trio spearheaded a defensive attack which allowed just 79.5 rushing yards per game.
Patterson will likely see plenty of playing time his freshman year with Huntigdon – a big selling point, he claims.
"The coaches told me I can go in there and play," he said. "They asked me if I wanted to play inside (linebacker) or outside (linebacker). I told them I can play either. I just want to get in there and play."
Patterson has not met the head coach for the Hawks, Duane Trogdon, but was recruited by defensive coordinator Jason Snyder. Snyder made an impact on Patterson.
"I like him a lot," he said of Snyder. "He's a young guy, and sounds like he's serious about getting this program started."
No athletic scholarships are given on the NCAA Division III level, but academic scholarships are in abundance. Huntigndon is normally $20,000 per year, but academic scholarships will take out a large portion of the tuition for Patterson.
Patterson claims he is not sure what his course of study will be, but said he plans to "just go down there (Huntigdon) and decide."