Natrez Patrick was recruited by many of the top programs in the nation before making the decision to play college football at Georgia. It's a major early addition to the 2015 class for the Bulldogs.
Gentry Estes of 247Sports passed along word of the edge-rusher's choice:
Patrick fits the mold of a modern-day pass-rusher. He's capable of playing either defensive end or outside linebacker with an impressive combination of size and athleticism. Listed at 6'3" and 220 pounds, he figures to bulk up even more during his collegiate career.
What's your projection for Patrick's future?
He was one of the most coveted pass-rushers in the 2015 class. The composite ratings from 247Sports list him as a 4-star prospect with an overall ranking of No. 69 in the nation. He was also ranked as the No. 7 weak-side defensive end available.
Normally, players of his caliber take more time before making a decision about where they want to play. It leaves room for more teams to become involved, especially if they perform at a high level during their senior season of high school.
But with several high-profile offers already on the table, Patrick opted to make his decision earlier in the process. He explained to Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution why he chose to make the announcement at this point:
I definitely wanted to do it before the season started. I didn't want to think about it during my senior season of high school football. Because my season comes first, so I just wanted to get it out of the way.
Right now, Patrick's athletic ability certainly outshines his technique. That's the case for many young players, of course, especially those with as much upside as him. The early part of his collegiate career will be focused on learning and developing more pass-rushing moves.
Jamie Uyeyama of Son of a Coach provided further information about what fans can expect from the newly signed recruit over time:
I definitely like his potential to be someone who contributes as an edge rusher once he spends some time in a proper strength program and puts on enough weight to hold up. I think his ceiling is close to what Dee Ford was for Auburn if he refines his pass rush technique and gets stronger.
A lot can change over the course of a year. That said, for now it seems like Patrick is the type of player who will play more of a rotational role early in his career—a situational pass-rushing option who can make his presence felt on third down.
After a season of game experience and working on his technique in practice, he should be ready for a bigger role starting with his sophomore season. He should be the complete package by the time he's an upperclassman, assuming his steady ascent continues.
With his college choice made, Patrick can focus on accelerating that process with a strong senior season.