Cordarrelle Patterson: Tennessee denies ‘package deal’ with ex-UGA 5-star recruiting target

University of Tennessee officials told the AJC on Friday that there’s no connection between 5-star WR Cordarrelle Patterson signing with the Volunteers last month and one of Patterson’s coaches recently joining Tennessee’s football staff.

Patterson played at Hutchinson (Kan.) junior college and was ranked as the No. 1 overall JC prospect in the nation. Up until the final hours before signing day, nearly every recruiting analyst was predicting for Patterson to sign with UGA.

Last week, the Tennessee Rivals website Volquest.com reported that Hutchinson assistant head coach Brandon Staley “will have an undisclosed role in the Tennessee football program.” It immediately sparked speculation, especially among Tennessee fans on this message board, that Staley was part of a delayed “package deal” involving Patterson.

We asked Tennessee for some clarification.

It was high fives for everyone on signing day when Derek Dooley landed the No. 1 junior college player in the nation over UGA (AP/file photo)

It was high fives for everyone in Rocky Top on signing day when Derek Dooley landed the No. 1 junior college player in the nation for the Tennessee Volunteers over UGA. Nearly all of the recruiting analysts had predicted the Bulldogs (AP/file photo)

On Friday, Tennessee athletics spokesman Jimmy Stanton told the AJC that Staley is an ‘intern” within the football program and said that there was “no correlation between his hire and Patterson.”

We also contacted Cordarrelle Patterson about his coach going from junior college to Tennessee with him.

“It feels pretty good to have a coach over there that I already know,” Patterson told the AJC. “[Staley] coached me in junior college and it was a pretty good experience.”

Were the twosome a “package deal” to the Volunteers?

“No, I didn’t know anything about that,” Patterson said. “He [Staley] went … he did that a couple of days after I signed. I don’t even want to get into all of that.”

Now there were always rumors that Tennessee had inside position with the NFL-bound WR because his high school quarterback, Justin Worley, already plays for the Volunteers. What about that? “That wasn’t as big of a factor as everybody thought,” Patterson said. “But it is pretty nice to have a player and coach on the team already there that you’ve already bonded with.”

Patterson on why he picked Tennessee: “It just always felt like home for me. I felt that way deep down for a long time. When I went on my visits, all those other schools started jumping ahead of Tennessee. But when things winded down, I knew Tennessee was the best place for me.”

Patterson on which school was runner-up: “Shoot, I don’t know. You could put Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss in there together.”

Patterson on which non-Tennessee coach was the nicest: “The Ole Miss coach [Hugh Freeze] is a good guy. I wish I could’ve gotten to know him a lot more. He came in there at the end. I wish I could’ve gotten to know him like the Tennessee coaches.” Not the nicest? “Probably the KU coach, Charlie Weis. He was kind of mean. He was straight forward, yelling and screaming, and all this stuff. I didn’t have time for that.”

Back to the package deal issue: Tennessee was part of one of Georgia’s all-time most infamous “package deals.” In 2010, then-Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin started a two-for-one special finished by Derek Dooley that successfully poached Georgia’s No. 1 overall prospect, WR Da’Rick Rogers, who was a longtime UGA commitment. How did they do it? Tennessee also offered Da’Rick’s high school QB and best friend, Nash Nance.

Tennessee used a 2009

Tennessee used a 2010 "package deal" to poach the state's No. 1 overall prospect, WR Da'Rick Rogers, who was a longtime UGA commitment (AJC)

UGA has also had success with “package deals,” including a couple from 2010: The Bulldogs secured their commitment with LB Alec Ogletree after offering a football scholarship to his twin brother. Also, on signing day in 2010, UGA abruptly offered and signed little-known Wilcox County WR Lonnie Outlaw, who was the cousin and best friend of QB-DB Nick Marshall, who signed with the Bulldogs last year (both Outlaw and Marshall are currently enrolled at junior colleges).

Last year, UGA made a surprise late offer to Isaiah Crowell’s best friend since kindergarten, Quintavious “Cootie” Harrow. At the time, Crowell’s mother said she was thrilled for Harrow, while adding the famous line, “I’m not selling my son’s soul to the devil.”

This year, Avery Young’s high school coach from Florida denied he was part of a UGA “package deal” gone wrong. Or part of any type of package deal involving the 5-star OL who broke UGA’s heart when he picked Auburn on signing day. A few weeks after signing day, Young’s high school was named the new football coach at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens. One of the references on his job application was UGA’s Mark Richt.

However, UGA did land its top OL target, 5-star John Theus, after signing his brother at long snapper the year before. What about Georgia Tech? There was speculation that 4-star basketball recruit Robert Carter was part of a “package deal” involving the son of his AAU coach, who transferred to play for the Yellow Jackets last summer.

Would you try to do a package deal to land an ELITE recruit?

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What do we think about package deals? We love them. We’d do them all day long in exchange for 5-star recruits. Derek Dooley deserves harsh criticism. Not for the alleged package deal for Cordarrelle — because that was brilliant, if true. No, he should be criticized for not wheeling and dealing MORE. Tennessee has lost seven assistant coaches since the end of last season.  Dooley had room and leverage to make some magic happen and land an army of 5-star recruits.

Like every year, we look forward to seeing plenty of more package deals this year, especially with how talented-loaded the state of Georgia is for 2013. We would not be surprised to see UGA or Auburn (or even Alabama) consider finding some departmental position for former Troup High School head coach Charles Flowers, who is a mentor to LB Reuben Foster, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect and committed to Alabama but still flirting with UGA and Auburn. Flowers was fired at Troup last month apparently over the improper transfer of a player to the school. Flowers, who is still very well-respected within the state, is considered be a “father figure” by Foster, who has vowed not to play at Troup next year without his coach.

The nation’s No. 1 overall football prospect, Grayson High School’s Robert Nkemdiche, has stopped short of calling himself a “package deal” with his best friend since the sixth grade, David Kamara. But it sure sounds like one. After Big Rob went public with his wishes a couple of weeks ago, Kamara got offers from Clemson, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. UGA may have missed out on gaining inside position on Nkemdiche by not signing his older brother last summer.

Switching over to basketball, we also would not be surprised to see UGA’s Mark Fox or Georgia Tech’s Brian Gregory take a close look at Miller Grove High School coach Sharman White, who has been courted by other colleges, including Memphis, in past years. White has impeccable credentials after leading Miller Grove to four straight state championships in basketball. He also happens to be the coach of the nation’s No. 21 overall prospect, power forward Tony Parker, who is uncommitted.

  • Summary: If you look close enough, there is almost always a possible “package deal” looming around every elite prospect. It’s nothing new. Probably the best package deal of all-time was by Arkansas in 2005 when it hired high school coach Gus Malzahn (who had no previous college experience) as an Razorbacks assistant. Malzahn was followed to Arkansas by four of his players, including one 5-star and one 4-star. Or there’s Danny Manning, the basketball superstar who signed with Kansas and brought along his father as an assistant coach for the Jayhawks.

NEWS FROM OVER THE WEEKEND

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138 comments Add your comment

Kevin

March 16th, 2012
6:21 pm

Lagdawg

March 16th, 2012
6:22 pm

Well, Fox needs to hire somebody to get the recruiting jumpstarted. He needs to get someone that can recruit these Ga. kids and keep them in-state. If that is what it takes to get the top rated players, then UGA needs to get on board. Fox is a good coach with subpar talent and he would do a lot better with superior talent. Also speeding up the play might attract some more players. This is not Nevada and this is the SEC. The talent level has to get better if he plans on competing on a consistent basis. He cannot compete with Kentucky or anyone else if he keeps bringing in the 1,2and 3 star players. Football teams problem seems to be the offensive coaching staff and the lazy recruiting by RG. UGA brings in good talent but, it should be a whole lot better. Both sports could use better RC if they want to compete consistantly.

Tossed Salad

March 16th, 2012
6:29 pm

Of course it was a package deal. Who cares? You do what you have to do these days.

Dap01

March 16th, 2012
6:36 pm

If you want to waste a scholarship on a friend, at least the friend is going to get an education. Giving a coach is like bribery. But it is not as bad as Auburn’s payment to Scam.

Rick James

March 16th, 2012
6:43 pm

Patterson is going to do one year and he’s NFL bound so I’m ok with him not coming to Georgia.Dooley will be fired in the next couple of years so I really dont care about what he does.He’s not going to be given enough time to fix the mess that he walked into on Rocky Top.

kerryb

March 16th, 2012
6:52 pm

If it quacks like a duck…………………………….

The Bear

March 16th, 2012
6:58 pm

Who cares to be honest! Good for both young men.

Roll Tide

The Bear

March 16th, 2012
6:58 pm

Well maybe the coach is not so young

Ryno

March 16th, 2012
6:59 pm

He didn’t even have a specific runnerup. It was always Tennessee, for over a year. Analysts? Pffttt.

ATL VFL

March 16th, 2012
7:00 pm

MC, I’m with you buddy. I don’t understand why DD with all the coaching turnover didn’t lock us up at least 3-4 more five stars. That’s disappointing. Vol For Life!!!

Bama Man

March 16th, 2012
7:03 pm

Great story. The best line was about Charlie Weis being a %#@!&

Alpharetta Dawg

March 16th, 2012
7:07 pm

I’d considering hiring the Troup coach as a graduate assistant. I’m definitely on board with Coach Fox hiring the Miller Grove coach. He should’ve done that a long time ago.

ross

March 16th, 2012
7:26 pm

When UGA offers a package deal, they expect the 2nd part of that package to contribute.

Zander Ogletree has played snaps at FB and will continue to. Q Harrow is blowing people up on special teams.

Is Nash Nance still on the roster?

bucket

March 16th, 2012
7:36 pm

Good luck to Patterson @ UT, but I know for a fact that he was one of the guys that the UGA coaches were confident that they were getting as late as Sunday before NSD. I guess if it’s ok to give a recruits girlfriend a job then I am ok with a coach dragging along with a recruit. Speaking of that, surely CMF could find a place for the Miller Grove coach!

Vol4Life

March 16th, 2012
7:39 pm

Package deals are a part of the recruiting game. Good for Dooley.

@ross 7:26 post. In Uga’s case – some of your package deals don’t even make it to the school – see Outlaw.

As for Nash Nance – the beautiful thing is that he left for an Ivy league school – opening up a scholaship. But to be honest with you – I am now thinking maybe Tennessee did UGA a favor by stealing Da’Rick. This guy is an unbelievable talent….. and an unbelievable pain in the BUTT! Yeah, we did UGA a favor here.

hind tit

March 16th, 2012
7:43 pm

White would be a good hire for UGA even if Parker didn’t come. White has the respect of coaches and players in the state of Georgia. Best thing that could happen to get Fox over the hump in recruiting.

NorthGABulldawg

March 16th, 2012
7:43 pm

Can’t blame them I guess, but it just drives my disgust for Tenn that much deeper. He is a one and done anyway. He would have been a star at UGA though, with MM at DB!!

bitter grassy knoll

March 16th, 2012
7:46 pm

it worked out for oak tree and brother zander—–but nash nance has transfered from tin–ur–say

————————————-yes its worth a gamble

—————————————moonpies ///tree killers//trailer trash bammer fans, like fat boy crimson

——————————————-play with your state flower—–aka——satilite dish—hahahahahah

Ghost

March 16th, 2012
8:17 pm

Vol4life, I agree with you about Da rick, He seems like trouble just waiting to happen.How much ore time will they give little dooley? The vol offense could be very good this year if you can keep bray and the receivers healthy.

Paul in NH

March 16th, 2012
8:18 pm

Best “package deal” assistant coaching hire in the last 30 years was Ed Manning at Kansas – worked out pretty well for them. I didn’t realize this happened in football as well.

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman!

March 16th, 2012
8:20 pm

Mark Fox will be toast next year just like Darrin Horn at South Carolina as this year.

Dawg4Life

March 16th, 2012
8:21 pm

Coach Fox should’ve hired Sharman White yesterday. It would get him Tony Parker and an actual connection to the state’s high school coaches, which is something he really lacks with the good ‘ol boys he has as assistants now. I hope someone puts a bug in Fox’s ear. We need Parker.

RHall55

March 16th, 2012
8:25 pm

Package deals happen all the time!! If CRG had not been so lazy, UGA would have had R Nkemdiche close to locked up; his brother should be a red-shirt freshman @ UGA, but UGA was too late to offer!! CRG, c’mon man!! You have such a great area to recruit from, but many times either your too late to offer or not spent enough time w/ the potential recruit!! Lagdawg is so, so correct is saying Coach Rodney Garner has gotten lazy in his job!! Too many high profile recruiting losses. too many guarantees that UGA loses, and too many times, the prospects have said they offered too late!! UGA will not catch up w/ AL or LSU if CRG continues that trend!! I would be furious if I were the AD, but I’m not (so far from qualified!!), so be it!!!

Greyshirt U

March 16th, 2012
8:25 pm

Nick Saban makes package deals with the devil

Score Check

March 16th, 2012
8:26 pm

It really doesn’t matter the vols are in an uncontrollable down hill spiral anyway.

BTW: Just in case you missed it. Coach Sick Satan = Scum Tweak a knee and you are left twisting in the wind

Athens Tider

March 16th, 2012
8:38 pm

I think if coaches want to do package deals for players knowing how many scholarships they’ve got, that’s their prerogative. However, package deals involving coaches are sleazy (”if you hire me, I’ll bring my player along” smacks of ownership), and should be illegal if they can be proven.

A person SMART enough to know......

March 16th, 2012
8:42 pm

I like the Don Leebern package deal. He is married don’t have to split 1/2 with her and he lives with Suzanne Yoculan the (I bet still bendy) ex-Gym Dwags coach.

TheBigTruk

March 16th, 2012
9:32 pm

I don’t think Dooley could win if he had a whole team of 5 stars.

Derek Dooley just can’t win games.

poopdawg

March 16th, 2012
9:35 pm

How did UGA secure a commitment by Alec Ogletree by offering Zander? Alec had been commited to UGA for almost a year before UGA offered Zander . Zander is proving his worth also.

wayxbulldawg

March 16th, 2012
9:45 pm

A desparate move by a desparate coach.

Michael Carvell

March 16th, 2012
9:46 pm

@wayxbulldawg, I respectfully disagree. It was a great move by Derek Dooley. The JC coach will be an “intern” and maybe get paid but probably not, and if so, not a lot. You could probably have countless “interns” within a football program.

Paul in NH

March 16th, 2012
9:57 pm

poopdawg

March 16th, 2012
9:35 pm
How did UGA secure a commitment by Alec Ogletree by offering Zander? Alec had been commited to UGA for almost a year before UGA offered Zander . Zander is proving his worth also.
—–
There is a difference between “committed” and “signed”. Rodgers was “committed” to UGA for a year but he signed with UT at the same time as Nance. Alec signed with UGA at the same time as Zander.

A person SMART enough to know......

March 16th, 2012
10:08 pm

Paul in RDU …..Duke lost? WOW. What would you call the Don Leebern situation? Haha He is Both COMMITTED and SIGNED with 2 different teams I guess.

Paul in NH

March 16th, 2012
10:11 pm

UOAD
I was surprised at Duke losing. I figured them for 2 wins before going out. Mizzou is the one that really blew up my bracket though.

A person SMART enough to know......

March 16th, 2012
10:20 pm

Mizzou lost only 4 games before tonight and i just didn’t see that coming.

Francis

March 16th, 2012
10:35 pm

LOL. What a slant from a UGA point of view.

Yet – UGA can give a ship to a joke SNAPPER just
to try to land his overrated brother a year later!

It’s OK. It would have to be 1980 to make an impact.

Grantham's The Man

March 16th, 2012
10:39 pm

If the Vols needed to hire the JC coach to get Patterson away from Ga then more power to them, but what’s with all the Lying about it.

If you feel you need to lie about it, then maby you shouldn’t have made the deal in the first place.

It’s obvious who young Dooley is emulating, (Saban). If you can’t get it done with integrity, then get it done any way you can, right?

Say what you want, but it’s obvious that Mark Richt is running one of if not the cleanest program in the SEC.

The Bear

March 16th, 2012
10:40 pm

Great for both of them and UT all these nay sayers just bitter fans of their sorry teams!

Oh Yea UT just for you……………..ROLL TIDE

The Bear

March 16th, 2012
10:44 pm

@Grantham’s The Man ……….Derka ….Derka. How did Saban enter this? MC making up names and posting? That is what I think

A person SMART enough to know......

March 16th, 2012
10:50 pm

Dooley learned it fro Vince Dooley with the Herschel & his sister deal.

Esaun

March 16th, 2012
10:51 pm

Patterson knew uga’s offensive weapons and WR depth would have complicated that 1 and done plan; plus the bobo game plan greatly increases the chances of mediocre stats

mike

March 16th, 2012
11:06 pm

He isn’t the first package deal nor will he be the last one, but Dooley is fighting for his job. UT never really expected Dooley to be successful, he was hired to be a program manager until the NCAA issues were dealth with, apparently they are and for him to keep his job he needs to win big, but they will struggle to be bowl eligible again and will be fighting UK for 5th in the East. But a question for the UT fans here, will the coach be retained when Patterson leaves for the NFL after this fall?

boots

March 16th, 2012
11:22 pm

Wow, Tennessee ethics problems. There is a news flash. Meanwhile, if a UGA equestrian freshman gets caught with a beer, it is front-page news at the AJC. What a joke.

Douglas

March 16th, 2012
11:37 pm

Derek Dooley is a lawyer which means he has no integrity — laywers goals is to win the battle no matter what the case is. Vince Dooley had integrity — his son is more like his mother — win at all costs.

Tdawg

March 16th, 2012
11:43 pm

Paul in NH you can spat all the crap you want. Fact is, is that Alec was all dawg no matter what happened to Zander. Having said that, I have no problem with package deals. I however have a big problem when a school offers the kids coach a job in order to lure that kid to the school. That is about as sleazy as it gets and please don’t give me that bull about Patterson commiting before his coach was given a jot at Tennessee. Therefore I have absolutely no problem with calling both Cordarrelle and Brandon Staley a ball face liar.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

March 17th, 2012
12:00 am

obvious UT will stink this year…Patterson will be a standout, therefore rising his NFL draft status. only reason why he signed. please tell me, who are the other stand outs at UT??

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

March 17th, 2012
12:01 am

and w/ NFL 1st round draft $$, give his ol’ coach a little present. simple is as simple does.

Kingdaddy

March 17th, 2012
12:30 am

Nothing in the SEC surprises me anymore. Give me another tequila Tonja! I still love U.T. too.

Kingdaddy

March 17th, 2012
12:36 am

Quit kicking me out you sob. Lay off UT. They are already down.and don’t need a pile-on. Go Doggies …

A-Ville Ranger

March 17th, 2012
12:49 am

Vince’s boy has proved to be a slick dude.