SNEADS, Fla. (WMBB) -Sneads junior running back Jason Patterson, who led all Florida classifications in rushing this season, was named a finalist for the 2022-23 Gatorade Player of the Year.
Patterson finished his junior season with a state-leading 2721 yards rushing (226.8 YPG) and 37 touchdowns through 12 games.
He ran for 500 yards in a single game which was the third-highest mark in Florida high school football history. (Kayleb Wagner 535 in 2021, and Derrick Henry 502 in 2012)
Patterson’s accolades are all the more impressive as he was sidelined for the majority of his sophomore season with a torn ACL.
“My sophomore year after I got hurt, I felt like the world was kind of crashing on me and I feel like nothing was going my way.,” Patterson said. “And then to have a junior year like I just had, like leading the state in rushing, you know, and just the 500-yard rushing game and just having all these accomplishments it really is patience, that’s all it’s about it. Be patient, your time is going to come.”
Patterson led the pirates to a perfect 10-0 regular season and to the Class 1A Region Finals. He hopes his numbers start to draw the attention of college teams.
“For me to not only lead the state in rushing but in all classifications, I mean, I feel like that put me in a different type of category,” Patterson said. “I feel like I’m one of them.”
While many Division I programs have taken notice, only Georgia Tech, South Florida and FAMU have officially offered. Having grown up in Florida, he certainly wouldn’t mind playing college ball in his home state.
My dad, he’s a Miami fan, my mama is a Florida fan and I grew up as a Florida State fan,” Patterson said. “So it was always the house of diversity, you feel me? So I don’t have a particular goal or a team I want to play for. I just want to go into a team that makes me feel like it’s home.”
With one more high school season remaining, Patterson has set some lofty goals moving forward.
“I think next year, 3K has got to be goal, 3K has got to be the goal,” Patterson said. “I say 40 to almost 50 touchdowns, one of them type of years, I want a remarkable year, that’s what I want for senior year.”
As a finalist for the Gatorade Player of the Year, Patterson can be selected for both the state and national awards. Florida will announce its winner on Friday, January 6.