Running backs coach Ladell Betts returned to Iowa Football this offseason after coaching preps in Florida. The former Hawkeye standout has set his sites on fortifying his room with a talented ball carrier from the Sunshine State.
Class of 2022 Deerfield Beach (FL) High's Jazion Patterson (5-11, 190) picked up an Iowa offer last week. The Rivals four-star recently added the Hawkeyes to his Top 10 along with Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Penn State, South Carolina and Texas A&M.
Patterson is scheduled to be at Florida State on Sunday, according to a report. He's trying to find a way to stop at Iowa soon as well.
"I’m looking forward to visiting Iowa this week, but if not I'll try to make it up there during the season, for sure," he told HN.
Betts, who excelled at running back for the Hawkeyes 20 years ago before spending nine years in the NFL, could be the key in Iowa's pursuit of Patterson.
"Coach Betts is a very cool dude. He's humble and genuine. I look forward to building a better relationship with him," Patterson said.
He's researching the Hawkeyes and the early returns are promising.
"I've learned that Iowa is a great and hard-working program," he said.
Academics will play a key role in Patterson making his final decision.
"I want to study Business Marketing and Criminology," he said.
Rivals ranks Patterson as the No. 17 running back nationally in the '22 Class and the No. 32 overall in talent-rich Florida for the cycle.
During a COVID-shortened season last fall, Patterson rushed 63 times for 511 yards
Here's a look at Patterson's junior season highlights: