Nick Patterson: Likes being pushed to the limit
Like many of the other young invitees to the NFA’s first annual OpC4 camp in Tampa in early January, Nick Patterson of Lakeside High School in Evans, Georgia, had limited varsity experience.
That didn’t matter to the sophomore who has been on the radar screen of the NFA from the time he was in grammar school.
“Until the Tampa camp I’d never really worked with Will Hewlett but when I was in sixth-grade he liked me on Facebook and that’s what got me interested in NFA,” Patterson said.
In 2011, when he was in the seventh-grade, and in his fourth year of organized football, NFA did a story on Patterson after he had already attended NFA camps and worked with NFA Founder and President Darin Slack.
Now, after showing the kind of overall improvement needed to be invited to the exclusive OpC4 camp, Patterson did not disappoint.
“I think the main reason I was invited to Tampa was I’ve shown in NFA camps I’m a competitor,” Patterson remarked. “Since I started with NFA my goal has been to strive to get better at each camp and I feel I’ve improved every time I go to one.”
Ready, willing and able
The OpC4 camp is like no other but the 6-foot, 175-pound Patterson was ready after having worked with Slack so many times in the past.
“Coach Slack pushes you to the limit and not just on the football field. He teaches you to be able to respond in uncomfortable situations. An example is at the camp we had to stand up and tell everyone why we were different. It wasn’t easy.”
It might not have been easy but Patterson proved himself at the camp. This is what Slack had to say.
“Nick has the calm and easy demeanor of a seasoned veteran at quarterback, with an obvious talent that should net him a starting role at the collegiate level one day.”
And what about the guy that liked him on Facebook way back when.
“He has a quick, compact release. He’s well coached, his ability to make throws on the move is just as impressive as when he’s in the pocket,” Hewlett remarked. “Patterson should have a break-out year in 2014.
They play the Masters golf tournament in nearby Augusta, but in Evans and at Lakeside, the Panthers compete in the Georgia Class 5A Region 2, said to be one of the toughest regions in the Peach State.
In Georgia the boys can play up to six quarters a week so last season Patterson was both the Panthers’ JV starter and varsity back-up. In JV action he racked up big numbers passing and rushing, including a game where he was over 200 yards on the ground and in the air for a 7-0 team. He also had four varsity TDs passing.
A backup no longer, its Patterson’s turn to run the no-huddle offense of Lakeside Coach Jarrett Troxler.
“I got introduced to the offense my freshman year. It’s the Auburn run game with a lot more passing.”
Best attributes and favorite part of OpC4
“My best attributes are I strive to limit my mistakes, that I’m a dual threat and I’m an accurate passer,” said Patterson, who has a 3.8 GPA and scored 1,420 on the PSAT.
“I’ve been to a lot of NFA camps but none pushed me this far. This camp gave us the experience of having a lot of adversity thrown at us.”
“Getting up and working out with the Navy Seals at 6 am – they pushed us to our limits.”