For Chicago native Quincy Patterson, Virginia Tech was love at first sight.
His body language alone during a February visit was enough to convince Solorio Academy head coach Matt Erlenbaugh his star quarterback would be a Hokie.
"When we went out there on an unofficial, you could tell that was going to be it," said Erlenbaugh. "Without saying anything about it, his demeanor and how happy he was the entire time we were there."
After a regional tour that included stops at North Carolina and Virginia, Patterson committed to the Hokies 10 days later.
For the 17-year-old who stated "getting my degree" as the most important part of the student-athlete experience, the Virginia Tech College of Engineering was immediately appealing.
"He's very academically driven," said Erlenbaugh. "He knows that at some point in his life football's going to end, hopefully later than sooner. He really enjoys the challenge of taking the hard classes and really forcing himself to achieve his goals when they're difficult. He's very aware mechanical engineering is not something that most college football players are able to do, but he loves that challenge. Pretty much he goes into the classroom like he goes into a football game, which I think is outstanding. There are not many people out there that are like that."
And while Patterson touts a longstanding fondness for math and a 4.7 / 4.0 GPA, the 247Sports Composite three-star prospect is no slouch on the field either. He made the cut for the prestigious Elite 11, a who's who for quarterback recruits, and earned some rave reviews.
"He's very accurate. He makes the right decisions, the right reads," said Erlenbaugh.
He's very quick with the decisions, if it's not there. He understands coverages better than I've ever coached a quarterback. Just being able to anticipate where people are on the defense, and then going through his progressions and hitting what's open. And then also he's got a cannon."
Though Patterson is striving this season to find the balance between when to let it rip, and when to check the ball down. He readily admits to being too conservative at times, eschewing appropriate risks. Yet knows when he reaches back he can spin it into narrow openings.
"It's 4th-and-12 and we run a post, but the safety is right over the middle and you got the corner falling behind, you got to put it on the money as fast as possible," said Patterson. "I can make those throws."
Erlenbaugh sees it too.
"He's definitely fitting into some tight windows. He's definitely unloading, and throwing the ball downfield more this year."
What helps further separate Patterson from the pack is his ability to overtake and control the game on the ground. Patterson's 6-4, 230 pound frame certainly bolsters that cause. Solorio utilizes a run-first spread option offense, and Patterson is well-versed running RPOs, read options, quarterback counters, and speed options. A familiar bag of tricks for Justin Fuente and Brad Cornelsen.
"Yesterday we had a play, it was a broken play, wide receiver didn't run his route," said Erlenbaugh. "Quincy got contacted in the backfield, and then he dragged a kid for 12 yards, oh well dragged about six kids for 12 yards. He's a guy that doesn't like to go down. He's very upset with himself if it is just one person that takes him down, which is very rare."
The intangibles are abound too.
"(His teammates) don't want to let Quincy down," said Erlenbaugh. "And I think that's something special that he brings. You can tell the guys are picking up their game."
Patterson wrapped up his official visit to Tech two weekends ago. His second trip to Blacksburg.
#Hokies have many commits and recruits in the 'Burg today. That's QB @quincy_qb1 second from the left next to DT Joe Kane. QP is a big boy. pic.twitter.com/EIkltKwvKD— THE KEY PLAY (@thekeyplay) October 21, 2017
He met with his future coaches, fellow recruits (he's diligently pitching Tech to blue chippers 5-star DE K.J. Henry and 4-star LB Dax Holifield), took photos, and attended practice.
"I been to a couple college practices, and they didn't really look like what Virginia Tech's practice looked like," said Patterson. "You're sprinting from station to station. Everything is just really fast, and they go between a lot of periods, so nobody's doing nothing. I find that cool."
He also took in Virginia Tech's 59-7 win over North Carolina, an opportunity to envision his future in maroon and orange.
"It was crazy electric," said Patterson. "I've never seen that much energy inside of one place. It's crazy to think I'll be going through that tunnel coming out to all those fans."