By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss begins spring football Saturday morning but will begin it without wide receiver Patrick Patterson.
The former Noxubee County standout, a rising sophomore, is considered one of the key players in a group that must replace Shay Hodge, who led the SEC last season with 70 receptions and 1,135 yards.
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt at his pre-spring press briefing announced that Patterson had been suspended for the spring after “breaking team rules.”
It is the second suspension for Patterson, who missed time last season as a true freshman for offenses described in the same manner.
Patterson’s suspensions are wearing his thin with his coach.
“Yeah, he knows that,” Nutt said.
Rated by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 4 receiver out of Noxubee County High School, Patterson had 12 catches for 180 yards and one touchdown last year. He showed a knack for catching the ball in traffic, but his production had waned by season’s end.
“We’ve got to have him in our program, and he’s got to be a go-to type receiver,” Nutt said.
For now, Patterson remains on course to become just that. Nutt said Patterson was told of the suspension “two or three” weeks into the semester and has walked the straight and narrow since then.
To remain in good standing and get back on the field Patterson needs to show much greater consistency in his behavior patterns and responsibilities and can’t “be good for three days and bad for a day,” Nutt said.
“We really believe he’s on the right track now,” his coach said.
Better news on Armour
Elsewhere, Nutt announced that defensive tackle LaMark Armour has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA. Armour had two major knee injuries in his first four seasons at Ole Miss.
He was a solid defensive line reserve last year, finishing with 16 tackles, 11⁄2 tackles for loss, three pressures and a fumble recovery.