By Doug Doughty
Dominique Patterson, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back from King's Fork High School in Suffolk, Va., committed to Virginia Tech on Monday night.
Tech was the first school to offer Patterson, who attended the Hokies' one-day camp this past Saturday. He said Tuesday that East Carolina and Marshall joined Tech in his final three.
Patterson suffered a broken left wrist in the first game of the 2008 season and was limited to defense after that, collecting 60 tackles and eight sacks.
He ran 40 yards in 4.48 seconds at Tech on Saturday.
"I was confident that I would earn a scholarship once I got up there," Patterson said.
"I talked to Coach [Curt] Newsome and all he told me was, 'Just run fast.' "
Patterson's coach at King's Fork is Joe Jones, a former tight end at Tech.
"He said he wanted to keep his emotions inside of him," Patterson said.
"He said the decision was up to me and he didn't want it to seem like he influenced me.
"That was before I committed. When I called him after I committed [Monday] night, he said he was glad and that I had done the right thing."
Jones said he kept in touch with Patterson during his trip to Blacksburg.
"I said, 'Think of the other schools and who would you pick over Tech if they offered you,' " Jones said.
"He said, 'No one, really.' I didn't have to say any more."
Jones said he felt Patterson might have been "under the radar" as a prospect because of the injury. He only carried the ball in one game.
"With the running back positions comes touchdowns and stats, and I think that would have given him more media attention," Jones said.
"It sounds kind of dumb for me to say, but he's a football player. He's got great football instincts. He just makes plays."