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By LARRY VAUGHT
Tim Patterson of Louisville Central plans to be in school at Kentucky next semester and could even join the Wildcats for some practices leading to the Jan. 8 BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everything is fine with me knee now, so I will be in school in January,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Patterson. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have been rehabbing the knee the last few months and working out on my own.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Patterson signed with Kentucky last February after picking the Wildcats over Louisville, Purdue, Indiana and Cincinnati. However, due to a knee injury he did not enroll at Kentucky and now will be able to participate in the offseason workouts and spring practice and still have four years of eligibility left.
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll join former Central teammates Ridge Wilson and Mister Cobble at Kentucky.
Patterson, a three-star prospect, was ranked as one of the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top players in 2009. He was a linebacker in high school but has been projected as a defensive end in college by many. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a very good athlete with the frame to add weight. Aggressive and plays with a good motor. Good in pursuit and space. Has the tools to be a good pass rusher, but will need to get stronger and work on getting off blocks,Ã¢â‚¬Â Scout.com recruiting analyst Allen Trieu said.
Patterson went to a Ã¢â‚¬Å“fewÃ¢â‚¬Â UK games last season while he was still living and working out in Louisville. He did his rehab work at Central High School, but went to Manual High School for his conditioning andstrength workouts.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was different not playing football,Ã¢â‚¬Â Patterson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was kind of hard to watch games. I thought I could have made plays and changed a game here and there if I had been out there.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips cannot comment on players not yet enrolled at UK, but he did confirm that some grayshirts could be joining the team as early as Saturday Ã¢â‚¬â€ the day after the first semester ends.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They can actually join once school is out, and we have a couple that are considering coming in,Ã¢â‚¬Â Phillips said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We could have some new faces, new additions to our football team on the 18th if they have been admitted into school. And the ones we have are admitted to school and could practice on the 18th. There could be two to three.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Patterson canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wait to join the team.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am real anxious to get there. I can practice and do weight training and everything,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I will be glad to be back playing and being a football player. I got a job working at a Papa JohnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the last few months, but I want to be back playing football. I think that will make me appreciate football more and work even harder. I have always had success, and I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want that to change.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was so different not getting to play football for a year. I think that, more than anything, will change my work ethic even more. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want anything like that to happen again.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Patterson wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t speculate on whether heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll play linebacker, his position at Central, or defensive end.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think I am still going to play linebacker,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am still weighing about the speed I think I might have got a little faster from last time I checked because of all the work I have been doing.Ã¢â‚¬Â
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also not been worried by the speculation about defensive coordinator Steve Brown leaving and being replaced by Rick Minter.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I talked to the coaches during the season,Ã¢â‚¬Â Patterson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I will play for whoever coaches. I just want to play football again and I want to play at Kentucky.Ã¢â‚¬Â