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‘Family feeling,’ relationship with Harbaugh led Nick Patterson to Michigan

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You may know his brother, Shea.

(Courtesy — Nick Patterson)
Nick Patterson

When 2020 3-star tight end Nick Patterson saw his brother under center for the Michigan Wolverines under the lights at Notre Dame Stadium, he knew he wanted to be a Wolverine.

Just like his brother, Shea Patterson.

That feeling carried over to the home opener against Western Michigan — a game Nick visited for and saw his brother lead Michigan to its first victory of the season.

One day later, he verbally committed to the Wolverines.

Maize n Brew caught up with him shortly after his commitment to find out what exactly is leading him to Ann Arbor.

“Honestly, (I knew) after the first home game, and even after the first Notre Dame game, I saw my brother play and I walked into the Big House,” Nick said. “The environment there, the fans — I got to talk to coach Harbaugh and my recruiting guy coach Dudek. That whole environment, and it just felt like family. It felt like home.”

The Patterson family is very tightly-knit together. Always there for each other and always supportive of one another. So much so that after Nicks’ high school game last Friday, he and his family flew from Texas to Michigan, saw Shea play in the Michigan/WMU game and flew back Sunday night. Nick says Shea plans on doing something similar during Michigan’s bye week so he can see Nick play.

“I enjoyed (the weekend) a lot. I was around football all weekend!” Nick said.

One would imagine Shea was trying to persuade Nick to commit to the Wolverines, but Nick says otherwise.

“I wouldn’t say ‘persuade,’ but (Shea) said it was a great place and when I said ‘yeah I love it’ he said ‘yeah I love it, too,’” Nick said. “I said it feels like family and he agreed with me. I visited some Ivy League schools before, some other schools, but when I came to visit (Michigan), it was way different than any of my other visits and it just felt like family, honestly.”

Another important factor that led Nick to committing to Michigan is his “really great” relationship with head coach Jim Harbaugh.

“I have a really great relationship with coach Harbaugh, and that’s what kinda led me there,” he said. “We talk about how I could contribute to the team and how he loves my family. We talk all the time, we talked the week before the Notre Dame game, we talked at the home game obviously. We talked for about 35-40 minutes. It was a really personal conversation. We talked about the academics and how they’ll treat me right if I (go there) and how great of a town Ann Arbor is.”

Nick is listed at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds. He certainly is not as big or tall as guys like Zach Gentry or Sean McKeon, but there is still room for growth before he arrives as a freshman. Still, he is being recruited by Michigan as a tight end, but he says he can play multiple positions on offense if asked.

“I can always flex out to wide receiver, H-back, put my hand in the dirt and stand up,” he said. “I honestly will play wherever they put me.”

The 2020 class is beginning to take shape for Michigan. With four players already committed, Nick says he plans on trying to help the class by doing some recruiting.

“Oh yeah, I’ve got some friends that are interested in Michigan and I’ll try to get them over there,” he said. “My boy (2020 4-star quarterback) Harrison Bailey. We talk on social media sometimes. He’s a really good kid, I played with him in seventh grade and eighth grade (on a national team).”

For now, Nick is going to focus on the rest of his high school season and get stronger.

“I’m excited to watch my brother in these next few games coming up — and just only good times ahead, honestly,” Nick said.