Even in a game that featured the top quarterback prospects in the nation, Shea Patterson was easily the best quarterback on the field in Saturday's US Army All-American Bowl. On a day where beastly defensive fronts forced most of the passers into rocky performances, the five-star Ole Miss commit went 6-of-10 for 90 yards and a pair of beautiful touchdown passes en route to earning the game's MVP trophy.
Shea's team, the West, cruised to 37-9 win.
Patterson came into the game ranked by 247Sports as the No. 2 QB behind Georgia commit Jacob Eason, who was named the US Army Player of the Year on Friday. But the experts might be reconsidering after Eason's two-turnover day was clearly overshadowed by Shea's performance.
Here's the director of recruiting at Rivals:
Shea Patterson looks very very impressive in this QB battle for No. 1— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) January 9, 2016
The difference between Shea Patterson's ball and the other two West QBS is evident. By far more zip and natural release. #HottyToddy— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) January 7, 2016
And here's a national analyst for Scout:
I've said it before; I'll say it again -- Shea Patterson will be a Heisman Candidate at #OleMiss. Kid has IT. #hottytoddy @SheaPatterson_1— Chad Simmons (@ChadSimmons_) January 9, 2016
And SB Nation's own Bud Elliot:
Ole Miss QB commit Shea Patterson with another TD toss. So many teams in that division have bad QB play usually, OM is set up.— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) January 9, 2016
Here's Shea tossing a brilliant 35-yard touchdown dime off the ole flea flicker.
And here he is a few drives later tossing another score.
Here's Shea Patterson's second TD of the Army All-American Bowl. Hotty Toddy! pic.twitter.com/59H0RxHyMP— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) January 9, 2016
Shea's ability to roll out and release the ball on the move really reminds you of Chad Kelly, which means he should be an absolutely perfect fit for Hugh Freeze's spread offense. Throw in the receiver talent that will be surrounding him at Ole Miss (Van Jefferson and Damarkus Lodge, who joined last season, and D.K. Metcalf, who also played in the Army Bowl, are all four-stars) and there's really no limit to how productive Patterson can be in Oxford.
Here he is picking up his MVP award after the game.
Congrats to IMG Academy's @SheaPatterson_1 on being named the MVP of the @ArmyAllAmerican Bowl! #IMGFam pic.twitter.com/YoCQkPmE96— IMG Academy Football (@IMGAFootball) January 9, 2016
And how cool is this?
@SheaPatterson_1 showing love to the soldiers #ArmyBowl #GoArmy pic.twitter.com/Yuk5o4zGy1— #ArmyBowl (@ArmyAllAmerican) January 9, 2016
Is Mique Juarez a Landshark?
The five-star linebacker out of Cali announced Ole Miss and UCLA as his final two earlier this week (though he's still planning a trip to Tuscaloosa), but most folks think he's a Bruins lean. But what did he do after notching a sack in the Army Bowl?
Mique Juarez the nation's top LB throws up the Landshark after a sack! Fins up! pic.twitter.com/du2MlZDpil— Jim Shute (@DFWLANDSHARK) January 9, 2016
And guess what Juarez tweeted this morning:
Here we go man game day ✊ time to have some fun Stay Tuned & watch us battle pic.twitter.com/aNxNIkc63v— Mique (@miquejuarez3) January 9, 2016
Hugh Freeze needs linebackers bad. Grabbing the top-ranked guy in the country would go a long way in fixing that.