BY CHIP CIRILLO
All four of Christ Presbyterian Academy’s linebackers signed letters of intent with colleges Wednesday.
Kane Patterson, an All-American Bowl selection, led the way by signing with Clemson.
Bryce McCormick (Furman), William Horne (Georgetown) and McNeill Stout (Wheaton) will also be playing college ball. Stout will probably play receiver for Wheaton.
“I think that’s a pretty big key of why we didn’t lose any this year,” CPA coach Ingle Martin said. “When you have super talented guys and they work hard and they love each other, great things happen.”
Kane was named MVP when CPA (14-0) won the Division II-AA title with a win over Battle Ground Academy on Nov. 30.
His next stop is Clemson (13-0), which faces Notre Dame (12-0) in a College Football Playoff semifinal on Dec. 29.
“It really fit all my criteria: culture, championships and education,” Patterson said. ‘Coach (Dabo) Swinney has really done something special with Clemson and I just knew I wanted to be a part of it.”
Patterson’s father, Wes, was Swinney’s teammate at Alabama for one season in 1988. Patterson was a scout-team quarterback and Swinney was a receiver.
“I think everybody knows the reputation that Coach Swinney brings and we’re just very blessed that Kane is going to be part of a culture that is very similar to CPA,” Wes Patterson said.
Kane (6-foot-1, 220) had 59 tackles and four sacks this season. He originally committed to Ohio State before opting for Clemson soon after.
Patterson overcame a knee injury sustained in the quarterfinals of his junior season.
“He’s been blessed by God with incredible talent and he plays the game as hard and as fast as you can play it,” Martin said. “He shows up when he’s supposed to show up, no headaches, wants to lead, wants to get better, wants to learn. That’s a rare kid and that’s why he’s all-American.”
McCormick (6-3, 220) had 68 tackles and one interception. Martin played quarterback at Furman from 2004-05.
“Coach Martin always gave me great input on what it was really like, not that it’s just a football school, but also a great education,” McCormick said. “I think Furman plays Clemson in about three years and it’s going to be weird playing against one of my best friends, my linebacker buddy.”
Horne (6-1, 205) joins a Georgetown team that went 5-6 this season.
“They’ve had a bad rap in the past, but I’m really looking forward to getting with the coaches and players that are going to turn the culture around and get a winning tradition,” Horne said.
He’ll join former opponent Tiy Reed of BGA, who also signed with the D.C.-based school Wednesday.
Stout (5-9, 175) is eager to report to Wheaton, a Division III program that went 8-2 this season.
“As soon as I stepped on campus, I knew it was the place for me,” Stout said. “I think at the start of this past season they were 16th in the country for Division III. So, a really good football program.”
Horne and Stout were outside linebackers while Patterson and McCormick clogged the middle.
“We’ve got some dogs, I guess,” Stout said. “Going out with a bang, that’s all we could ask for. It was a perfect ending.”