He’s all grown up.
Yet University of Miami defensive end Scott Patchan is only 20.
Two reconstructive surgeries on the same knee can make you seem older than you are, though Patchan, the son of a two-time UM national champion, is fully healed, turning heads and primed to finally make an impact in his redshirt sophomore season.
Even Hurricanes defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski pondered the craziness of considering Patchan “an old guy’’ because, well, he has been in Coral Gables a long time.
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“Coach Kool and I were talking about this the other day,’’ Diaz said Tuesday. “We think of Scott as an old guy because he’s been here longer than we have been here as a coaching staff. But he’s really not an old guy, in terms of experience and in terms of the reps that he’s had out on the practice field – which is an encouraging thing because he has a lot of ball ahead of him.”
Patchan, listed as 6-6 and 240 pounds, graduated from Bradenton’s IMG Academy after transferring from Tampa Freedom High his senior season. He was a four-star end rated by Rivals.com as the nation’s 18th best.
He is the son of Matt Patchan III, who won national titles in 1983 and ’87 as UM’s left tackle.
Offers poured in from major programs for the younger Patchan, but he decided not to visit the school that wanted him badly – Alabama.
“It was very hard to beat my dream school,’’ Patchan told the Miami Herald the night before he set out for Coral Gables to begin his college career in January 2015.
After tearing the ACL in his right knee in August during the first game of his senior high school season, then tearing the ACL in the same knee in March of 2016, Patchan thought he was ready to play against FSU last October.
He wasn’t – and “tweaked’’ the same knee, he said.
It was the first and to this point only game of his college career.
“Let’s start out with the best feeling,’’ Patchan said Tuesday. “It was running through the smoke. That’s always a great feeling when you’re healthy and when you’re going to play.
“Got into the game and tried to keep myself as calm as I could be. Anytime you’re out there in your first game and it’s Florida State at the same time, there’s a lot of emotions running.
“I probably shouldn’t have been in that game. I was medically cleared, but I was just so excited. I pushed myself really hard.”
Now, Patchan is back to his old self and seemingly a much happier young man. He played well in the scrimmage last Saturday, per coach Mark Richt and Diaz, with four tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks.
“It was just a great feeling,’’ Patchan said Tuesday. “Glory to God. I’m healthy again, just happy to be out here with my teammates.”
Said Diaz: “He flashed in the scrimmage. He made some pretty good plays. You can never have too many pass rushers. We expect him to contribute this year.”
And his right knee?
“It’s fine,’’ Diaz said. “The medical staff did a great job with that.’’
Added Patchan, pointing to the knee: “This thing is solid. I’m ready to go.’’
Cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph told WQAM-560’s Joe Rose on Tuesday that UM’s vaunted wide receivers are “extremely good.’’
“The thing I like the most is we go against them every single day. Mike Harley is extremely quick and fast. He’s going to give the ACC headaches, man...And Jeff Thomas as well....And we have Ahmmon Richards who can freakin’ fly.’’
Rumph also mentioned DeeJay Dallas and possession guys’’ such as Lawrence Cager and Darrell Langham.
“We try to give them hell as best we can, but it makes us so good.’’
When Rose asked Rumph who he things will start at quarterback, he mentioned Malik Rosier and said Evan Shirreffs is neck-and-neck with him...But right now I like Malik. He’s been a lot more safe with the ball and not turning the ball over and making good decisions.’’