3 local football stars pick colleges

Academics play major role for Patterson, Hall, and Harmon



  • Patterson

    Three local high school football players have made their college choices, and each will be heading to schools with strong academic traditions.


    The latest to commit is Perrysburg senior Nathan Patterson, a tight end and linebacker who will be headed to Miami (Ohio) in the Mid-American Conference.

    Earlier, Southview defensive back Nate Hall decided on June 17 to follow older brother Jimmy to Northwestern, while Central Catholic’s Zach Harmon, an offensive lineman, had committed in May to Duke.

    The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Patterson was recruited to Miami as a tight end. Last season he had 15 receptions for 207 yards and three touchdowns for the 8-3 Yellow Jackets, who were runners-up in the Northern Lakes League. Patterson was also the starting center on the basketball team.

    “I just wanted to meet coach [the RedHawks’ Don] Treadwell because I had heard good things about him,” said Patterson, who announced his commitment while attending a recent football camp at Miami. “After I met him, that pretty much confirmed my decision.

    “The campus is really nice. I toured it on an unofficial visit. Another reason I liked Miami is because it is so well-known for its academics. After seeing everything, I just felt it was the right place for me. I just felt like I fit.”

    Patterson said he had received recruiting attention from Toledo, Bowling Green, Kent State, and Akron, but Miami was his first offer.

    “Nate is a good receiver, but he is a great blocker,” said Perrysburg coach Matt Kregel. “He can down block, he can pull, and he can do all kinds of things from the tight end position.

    “The trend [in college football] is kind of going back to using a tight end with a three-receiver set, using the tight end as kind of an H-back in the split-zone option, and I think Nate is big enough and athletic enough to do that.”

    Hall, a 6-3, 200-pound defensive back and receiver, had 53 tackles last season for the 6-4 Cougars. He was named to the second team on both the All-Northern Lakes League and Division I all-district teams.

    “It was academics first for me,” Hall said. “Northwestern is a great academic school, and that had a lot to do with my decision. I wanted to surround myself with a great coaching staff, and I think Northwestern has one there with coach [Pat] Fitzgerald. Their program the last few years has been amazing.

    “My brother being there wasn’t really that big of a factor in my overall decision. I picked the school that I thought would fit me the best — someplace I could see myself going and playing football. I wanted to play in the Big Ten.”

    Recruited to play outside linebacker for the Wildcats, Hall, who carries a 3.7 grade-point average at Southview, plans to major in business at Northwestern.

    Hall also had offers from Pittsburgh, Toledo, Bowling Green, and Western Michigan.

    Harmon, a 6-3½, 280-pounder who started at both guard and center during the 2012 season for 14-1 Central, helped the Irish win a Division II state championship. He was selected to the first team on both the All-Three Rivers Athletic Conference and D-II Northwest Ohio all-district squads, and was special-mention All-Ohio.

    “Zach is a complete offensive lineman,” Irish coach Greg Dempsey said. “He can play any position on the line. He is a physical run blocker that finishes his blocks and is also a great pass blocker.”

    Harmon also had offers from Toledo, Bowling Green, Akron, and Ball Sate.

    TRAC SEARCH: The search to replace outgoing Three Rivers Athletic Conference commissioner Ken Myers is drawing toward a close as the conference’s recommendation committee will conduct interviews on Monday.

    After the interviews are complete, the committee will propose their choice to the TRAC’s 10 principals for approval.

    Myers, who served as commissioner for the first two years of the TRAC’s existence, announced he would step down back in May. Because of some family health issues, Myers said it was becoming difficult to devote his time and energy to overseeing the conference.

    ON HOLD: After a three-year absence, the City League will restore wrestling this 2013-14 winter season, but the process of selecting head coaches to run the varsity programs at the six member schools is on hold until Toledo Public Schools completes its contract negotiations, according to CL commissioner Ed Scrutchins.

    Scrutchins also said that, because of the unsettled contract situation, the league’s fall sports coaches will also likely be retained without the usual reapplication process, because of the tight time frame involved before fall sports practices begin in late July and early August.

    ALL-STAR GAME: Perrysburg will host the 23rd annual Northwest Ohio Regional All-Star Football game at 7 p.m. Friday, July 19 at Steinecker Stadium.

    The Black and Gold teams, composed of graduated seniors from the class of 2013, will report for practice on July 14.

    Coaching the Black team will be a group of retired coaches headed by former longtime Rossford coach Tom Ferguson. Guiding the Gold team will be former Toledo Christian coach John Miller, plus members of the TC staff and the staff from Ottawa Hills.

    The 43-member roster for the Black team includes players from Anthony Wayne, Archbold, Bryan, Cardinal Stritch, Elmwood, Evergreen, Fairview, Holgate, Lake, Montpelier, Napoleon, Northwood, Oak Harbor, Patrick Henry, St. Francis de Sales, Springfield, Southview, Start, Swanton, Whitmer, and Woodward high schools.

    The 48-member Gold team roster has players from Bowling Green, Bowsher, Delta, Eastwood, Edgerton, Edon, Findlay, Genoa, Liberty Center, Maumee, Northview, Otsego, Ottawa Hills, Perrysburg, Rogers, Rossford, Scott, St. John’s Jesuit, Tinora, Toledo Christian, Waite, and Wauseon.

    NAPOLEON AD LEAVING: Napoleon athletic director Brad Musgrave has accepted a position as athletic director at Wadsworth High School.

    Musgrave, a graduate of Arcadia, is leaving Napoleon after 11 years. On Thursday, he accepted the job at Wadsworth, a Division I school in northeast Ohio.

    “It was a very tough decision, but it was one that will definitely advance me in my career,” Musgrave said.

    Musgrave said his original intention when he came to Napoleon in 2002 was to stay three to five years.

    “However, I fell in love with this place. It’s a very special community, mainly because of the people. I ended up staying here longer than planned because I have been so blessed to have the greatest coaches anyone could ever ask for,” he said. “They have been like my family.”

    After graduating from the University of Findlay, Musgrave taught special education at Arcadia for nine years and then moved to Central Middle School in Findlay for two years as an assistant principal/‚ÄčAD. Napoleon was his first stop as a full-time AD.

    “I’m excited because of the opportunity I have at Wadsworth. They have been rated excellent with distinction 10 straight years and built brand new facilities across the board,” he said. “This is also a sad time because I am leaving behind so many people that I think so much about.”

    Mark Monroe contributed to this report.

    Contact Steve Junga at: sjunga@theblade.com, or 419-724-6461 or on Twitter@JungaBlade.