ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Shea Patterson threw 2 interceptions in his first game as a high school sophomore.
It would have been enough evidence for a coach to pull his starting quarterback, and John H. Bachman Sr. did just that in the fall of 2013 at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, La.
It was the first time a coach had pulled Patterson from a game. But the Calvary Baptist staff didn’t give up on the sophomore.
“We decided he was our guy,” said Bachman, who now coaches at Red River Parish High School in Coushatta, La. “We decided it the next day. His attitude was, ‘Yeah, sure, I just want to show up and go to work.’ But you could tell he wasn’t buying in, right then.”
Patterson threw 2 more interceptions in his second game of the season, and Bachman noticed how Patterson kept looking to him on the sideline for some sort of validation. Finally, Bachman had a word for his starting quarterback.
“I told him, ‘Shea, if you throw 10 more interceptions, there’s no one coming to take your place. This is your show,’” Bachman said.
Bachman’s faith in Patterson resulted in two state championships at Calvary Baptist. Patterson parlayed that into becoming the starting quarterback at Mississippi. Patterson will join the Michigan football program for the spring semester, and he brings what Bachman calls an “it” factor.
“It” is something he can’t specifically describe, but something that sets Patterson apart from other quarterbacks he’s coached.
“They’re playmakers. They do things nobody else can do,” Bachman said. “There’s 1,000 reasons they can get there and nobody else can. Shea’s that kind of guy. He just makes plays.
“When things break down, you want Shea having the football in his hands.”
Shea Patterson’s ability to adapt
Patterson adds another dimension to the 2018 quarterback competition with size, speed, accuracy and production, and he becomes the most seasoned player at the position on Michigan’s roster. If he is deemed eligible by the NCAA, Patterson will be immediately available to play in 2018 and will vie for the starting job against redshirt freshman Brandon Peters, first-year freshman Dylan McCaffrey, and incoming freshmen Joe Milton and Kevin Doyle.
“Competition, competition, competition,” Michigan offensive lineman Grant Newsome said Sunday of Patterson, who visited Michigan this weekend. “The best man. Knowing Coach Harbaugh, it’s a meritocracy. The best person’s going to play. If we can get more people to help us win, that’s great. But at the same time, I think we have a really good nucleus going forward.”
Shea Patterson’s high school and college passing statistics
|2015||IMG Academy (Fla.)||1,533||18|
|2014||Calvary Baptist Academy (La.)||2,428||38|
|2013||Calvary Baptist Academy (La.)||2,655||34|
|2012||Hidalgo (Texas) High School||1,386||18|
“He does a lot well,” Cesar Ruiz, a freshman offensive lineman at Michigan and Patterson’s former teammate at IMG Academy, told reporters Saturday. “He can throw the ball and run the ball. I think he’d be a good fit in anybody’s program. He’s a great quarterback.”
What has impressed Bachman more is Patterson’s ability to adapt to any situation he is in, whether it’s going to a new school — he went to three high schools in four years — or finding his way out of a jam on a football field.
Patterson’s ability to adapt, Bachman explained, is what helps him thrive.
“That would defeat a lot of kids, having to start all over, so many times,” Bachman said. “Shea goes for the light, instead of the darkness. It can’t hurt him that he’s getting so many new life experiences. It may not be what you want or what you like. But if Shea was bothered by it, or hurt by it, he never showed it. He’s way ahead of his age.”