Jacques Patrick, the top running back in the state of Florida finally made his college decision Monday at 6 ET, committing to Florida State. Out of Orlando (Fla.) Timber Creek, Patrick reportedly chose between Florida State, Florida, Ohio State, Alabama and Texas A&M.
Pretty much everyone in the recruiting industry expected the pick to be Florida State. Patrick has been to Florida State numerous times over the years, is very comfortable with the school and the coaching staff, and has generally behaved as if were a member of the team during the summer camp sessions. With certain recruitments, there's just very little drama, and this was one of those cases.
Patrick has a great relationship with coach Jimbo Fisher, and FSU is 52-10 under the head coach, but there are other reasons why Florida State is attractive to Patrick. He is close with two current FSU commits: receiver Nyqwan Murray, of Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge, and Deondre Francois, who plays for the IMG Academy in Bradenton, but who is from Orlando. Both players have been in Patrick's ear about joining the Seminoles.
When I first saw Patrick in 2012, I thought that he would likely have to move to a different position in college, as he was about 6'1 and 220 pounds entering his sophomore year of high school. It was obvious that Patrick, who at the time had no offers, was going to be an elite recruit. At the time, however, he wasn't sure, and I recall him asking me if he would ever get any major college offers?
A couple weeks after that conversation, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn offered Patrick.
Luckily for Patrick's chances of staying at running back, he did not continue to grow all that much.
Patrick is now a 6'1.5", 232-pound bruiser, rated four stars by most everyone and is one of the top five running backs in the country. He runs with good power, but importantly, thanks to some light feet, he has some ability to make defenders miss, which he'll need at the college level where it's simply not possible to run over defender after defender. He also has excellent hands for a big back. I profiled more of Patrick's attributes, including his excellent balance and patience, in this scouting report.
How Patrick fits in at Florida State
FSU will return only three running backs in 2015: Mario Pender, a fourth year junior, Ryan Green, a third year player, and Dalvin Cook, a sophomore. And FSU will have second-year back Jonathan Vickers, who is a hybrid tailback/fullback. That's not a ton of depth.
The Seminoles currently have a commitment from four-star running back Johnny Frasier, of Princeton (N.C.), and pairing Patrick with Frasier gives FSU the best pair of tailback recruits in the country.