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October 26, 2013
Coach: Georgia duo ready for UW
Wisconsin let both Krenwick Sanders and Jeremy Patterson know during their official visit in early September that early playing time was available for each at their respective positions.
Sanders, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound wide receiver, was the first to commit to UW earlier this month. Saturday morning, Patterson, his teammate at Wayne County High School in Georgia, followed suit. Head coach Jody Grooms feels his two seniors will be able to capitalize on the opportunity in Madison.
"I'll tell you this, Wisconsin is getting two great players," Grooms told BadgerBlitz.com on Saturday. "They are getting two players who will be able to compete for playing time the minute they arrive on campus."
Patterson, a 6-foot-3, 315-pound tackle, comes in as the Badgers' 18th member of the current class. The three-star prospect is a huge get for Wisconsin's 3-4 defensive scheme which will be thin at nose tackle with starter Beau Allen set to graduate at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
"I think he's (Patterson) been wrestling with it for some time now," Grooms said. "I think he felt like Wisconsin was where he needed to be when he made the visit up there - they both (Patterson and Sanders) had such a good time there.
"I try to stay out of that stuff but I told him that he needs to pick a place where he knows he can go to school every day and where you can go to football practice every day. I think Wisconsin was the place where he can grow as a person and player. That was the best choice for Jeremy and his family."
With Craig Evans not 100 percent solid in his commitment, Patterson will likely be able to compete for time with Warren Herring, Bryce Gilbert and Arthur Goldberg when he arrives on campus. Strength-wise, Grooms feels his lineman will be more than able to hold his own.
"He'll (Patterson) be one of the strongest kids they got when he gets there," Grooms said. "He power cleans 415 pounds, he benches about 400 pounds - he's phenomenally strong and phenomenally quick. He's a good athlete who plays basketball here.
"He's a kid who they can coach up to get better and better. He has long arms and he's able to control gaps and keep people off the linebackers so those guys can make plays."
Wisconsin has made a huge effort on the recruiting front in Georgia led by assistant coach Thomas Hammock. Grooms noted a lot of similarities despite the distance separating both cities.
"Growing up in a small town, Friday nights in Wayne County is all about football," Grooms said. "I think it's the exact same way on a Saturday in Wisconsin. It's Wisconsin football and then on Sunday it's the Green Bay Packers. They felt the passion of the fans and the passion that town has for football. I think it really reminded them of home.
"I'm glad they are going together. They know it's a long way from home but when you are competing at that level, it's something you have to accept. We're going to be there for them in every way we can, but they're happy and that's all that matters to us."
While Patterson received a bit more recruiting attention with offers from Florida State, N.C. State and Clemson, among others, Grooms feels Sanders, who was previously committed to Georgia, is playing as well as anyone at his position.
"Let me tell you, there's not a better receiver down here than Krenwick Sanders," Grooms said. "They don't come out of here with the highest rankings, but they're ready to compete when they get to college. Tre Jackson was about a two- or three-star out of high school but he's probably going to be a top 20 pick in the draft when he comes out of Florida State.
"Our kids just want to be the best for Wayne County and then use football as a vechile for college and beyond."