July 8, 2010 10:22:00 AM
Two coaches who worked with Patrick Patterson at Noxubee County High School said Wednesday they were surprised to learn Patterson had been dismissed from the University of Mississippi football team.
Noxubee County High coach Tyrone Shorter said Wednesday morning he hated to hear the news because Patterson is a "good kid" and that he never had a problem with him in high school.
"I feel sorry for him and his family," said Shorter, who will take over as head football coach at Noxubee County High this season. "I was devastated when I first heard the news. I don''t even know what is going on."
Shorter felt Patterson, who made 12 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown as a freshman, was in position to have a "breakout" season in 2010.
Former Noxubee County High coach M.C. Miller, who is the new head football coach at Louisville High, echoed Shorter''s surprise by saying he thought Patterson was doing better at Ole Miss. He said he talked briefly to Patterson last month at a 7-on-7 passing camp in Oxford. He said he thought everything was going good for Patterson.
"I know he had a few problems earlier, but I thought that had all been worked out," Miller said. "He is a nice young man, and a hard worker. He is very quiet. He didn''t talk that much, and we never had any problems with him. He gave us everything we asked for. He is just a great young man."
Ole Miss released a statement Wednesday saying the rising sophomore had been dismissed from the football program for "violation of team rules."
James Patterson, Patrick''s father, who also is an assistant football coach at Noxubee County High, didn''t return a phone call to his cell phone Wednesday.
During the 2009 season, Patrick Patterson was suspended for the game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He also was suspended for spring practices for violating team rules.
Patterson would have been a prime contender for a starting spot at wide receiver given the Rebels lost Shay Hodge, the Southeastern Conference''s top receiver in 2009, to graduation.
In 2008, Patterson had 73 catches for 1,287 yards and 19 touchdowns to lead Noxubee County High to the Class 4A state title. The Tigers were state runner-up in 2007.
Patterson was chosen the Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-State performer by the Mississippi Coaches Association in 2008. For his career, he had 209 catches for 3,574 yards and 42 touchdowns.
Markeith Summers and Lionel Breaux remain as the only receivers on Ole Miss'' roster with significant experience at the position. Patterson''s dismissal also could create an opening for Vincent Sanders, Patterson''s former teammate at Noxubee County High. Sanders played wide receiver and quarterback as a senior in high school and was one of the state''s most highly recruited players.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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