Shea Patterson plays down QB rivalry with Jacob Eason

Ole Miss commitment Shea Patterson is now seen by the majority of recruiting sites as the nation's top-rated quarterback.

Jacob Eason vs. Shea Patterson? 

It may be the high school version of Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. It’s hard for Eason and Patterson to avoid the comparisons since they are battling it out for the title of the nation’s No. 1-rated high school quarterback.

Eason was the longtime No. 1 in the rankings, but he was caught and passed by Patterson this summer.

This is likely the first in countless comparisons between the two, as both are headed to the SEC for their college careers. Eason has committed to UGA while Patterson will sign with Ole Miss.

Patterson played down the blossoming rivalry between the two in an interview with the AJC.

“Jacob Eason is a really great kid,” Patterson said. “He’s one of my good friends. I’ve been to a lot of camps with him. We get along really well and had a fun time together up at the Elite 11. He’s awesome and a great kid. He’s got a huge arm and a great future.”

The 6-foot-2 Patterson knows he’ll be measured against Eason this year, and into his college career — and he’s fine with it.

“We get compared to each other all the time so we try to do the best we can do to push one another so we both enjoy it,” Patterson said. “We love to compete with each other.”

Patterson is from Florida’s IMG Academy, and he boosted his stock with a strong summer. He won the Elite 11 quarterback derby at The Opening all-star recruiting event in July, leading his team to the 7-on-7 championship.

A good parallel for Patterson would be Aaron Rodgers, but Aaron Murray gets brought up a lot, too. He excels at extending plays from a broken pocket and slinging balls downfield on the run. Meanwhile, Eason is nearly 6 feet, 6 inches tall. He’s a classic pocket passer in the mold of a Drew Bledsoe or a Dan Marino.

Probably the biggest head-to-head battle between Eason and Patterson this year will be to win over the nation’s No. 1 tight end, Isaac Nauta. Patterson has an edge because Nauta plays on the same high school team, but Eason used his only trip to UGA this summer to hang out with Nauta for a couple of days.

Nauta has already agreed to take an official visit to UGA while he’s considering Ole Miss for his fifth visit.

“I’ve been talking to him (Nauta) a lot,” Patterson said. “But you can only do it so much before it gets annoying. I’ve established that I would love to have him with me and I’d love to play with him for the next three or four years.”

Patterson said he hasn’t signed his financial aid papers with Ole Miss yet, but he expects that to happen soon. He’s only planning to take an official visit to Ole Miss and will do so for either the LSU game or on another date in January in order to come in with a lot of top recruiting targets.

Who’s the top-rated quarterback in the country? Let’s take a quick look at the scorecards::

  • 247sports: 1. Eason  2. Patterson
  • 1. Patterson 2. Eason
  • Scout: 1. Patterson 2. Eason
  • ESPN’s overall quarterback rankings: 3. Patterson 5. Eason
  • 247sports composite: 1. Patterson  2. Eason

Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.

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