Patterson, family, coaches, friends all happy about VT news

Published 10:30 pm Saturday, July 18, 2009

“I had always said, ‘if Tech offered, I wouldn’t put anyone above them,’” said King’s Fork’s Dominique Patterson a couple days after verbally committing to a full football scholarship offer from Virginia Tech.

Patterson, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker entering his senior year at King’s Fork, had what he describes first and foremost as a blessing become official last Saturday. Patterson was in Blacksburg working out with other potential recruits. At the end of the one-day camp, Patterson was asked to meet with Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer and that’s when he was told of VT’s offer.

Saturday’s timeline might have moved quickly, but Virginia Tech’s knowledge of Patterson goes back nearly two years to during his sophomore season.

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“I remember going into the office,” said Patterson, as Cecil Phillips, King’s Fork’s head coach prior to its current coach, Joe Jones, was talking with “a guy with a Virginia Tech jacket.”

“Before I walked out, (Phillips) said he wanted me to meet the coach, Mr. Newsome.”

Curt Newsome, currently Virginia Tech’s offensive line coach and a well-known recruiter all over Virginia, especially in Hampton Roads, told Patterson he liked what he had seen of him on film and would be following how he was doing.

Patterson’s junior season was somewhat of a setback due to a broken wrist, which Patterson played through with a huge cast on his forearm for most of the season.

“Because of the wrist, I did not have a standout junior year,” said Patterson. “Really I think it was just me, (Newsome) and coach Jones who knew I could play in Blacksburg.”

Before the one-day camp last week, Newsome talked with Patterson again. The discussion let Patterson know something big might be close.

“He said, ‘come up and separate myself from the bunch,’” said Patterson.

Now, Patterson says the pressure of the recruiting process is over, leaving him the chance to concentrate only on football and academics during his senior year.

“My parents are really proud,” said Patterson, who also said even with how happy his parents are for him, there was no pressure put on him one way or the other. The same goes for his coach, Jones, even though Jones is a former Hokie player.

“I know he’s very happy being an alum…but he didn’t ever influence me to go to Virginia Tech. He completely let this be my decision.”

Patterson is planning on majoring in sports management. Of course playing pro football is the ideal career says Patterson, but if that doesn’t work out, “I want to be a P.E. teacher, or work with kids, or maybe be a trainer. I just have to be around sports.”

The happiest person though, said Patterson, could well be his aunt, Amy Patterson. She traveled up to Blacksburg last weekend and was invited into the meeting with Beamer.

“I think she’s the most excited. She’s always been a big Tech fan,” said Patterson.

“The way she reacted, you’d think she was getting the scholarship.”

Patterson’s been to a couple games in Blacksburg, and already loves the excitement of game day in and around Lane Stadium.

“All you see is maroon and orange. Every game, on a Saturday night, or Saturday afternoon, or Thursday, it’s always packed.

“The energy in the stadium, the players bringing the flags out, everything they do, I love the whole atmosphere and I’m looking forward to all of it,” said Patterson.