Ole Miss sophomore Shea Patterson was one of a handful of SEC quarterbacks in attendance at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La., last weekend. Reese’s Senior Bowl scouting coordinator Patrick Woo also was on hand during the four-day event and was impressed with Patterson.
“Shea’s an exciting talent,” Woo told GN. “He’s really, really athletic. The first thing I always think about with Shea Patterson is the last game of the season. They didn’t play in a bowl game and the final game was in the Egg Bowl. In the first quarter, Shea should have been sacked two or three times on one play. But instead I think he had 30-yard run out of it.”
Patterson actually gained 29 yards, and the play helped Ole Miss drive to a field goal and its first score of the game.
“There’s definitely a lot of it that comes out when Shea starts running around with the ball,” Woo said. “It’s so exciting to watch Shea Patterson improvise. Now, moving forward, you’ll obviously want to turn him into more of a pocket passer and help him develop more poise in the pocket.
“Those were certainly things that Johnny Manziel, Dak Prescott, Josh Dobbs and other dual-threat quarterbacks had to improve in throughout their careers as well. So I think that’s the next step for Shea, not trying to improvise so much. But it’s hard for him to kind of dial it back because he is so athletic and is such a dynamic playmaker.”
In his first college action last season — Ole Miss had planned to redshirt him but a season-ending injury to Chad Kelly changed that — Patterson rallied the Rebels from a 21-6 deficit to a 29-28 win at Texas A&M. But losses to Vanderbilt and Mississippi State followed, which meant Ole Miss didn’t qualify for a bowl. The school already has self-imposed a bowl ban this season, but Woo doesn’t expect that to bother Patterson.
“There’s no doubt that he’s fired up for this season to start,” Woo said. “I don’t think that he is really too concerned about the bowl ban. I think it does motivate him a lot more because he knows he’s not there for those extra 15 practices and month to be around his teammates, so he wants to capitalize on the time that he has left with this senior class and his teammates.”
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
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