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Camion Patrick isn't letting grades, JUCO deter his dreams

9:52 PM, Dec 21, 2012   |    comments
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One of the best high school football players in the state didn't play a single down this season. Instead, Camion Patrick spent his entire senior year in the weight room.

"I'm in here every single day, so that's what I do away from school, beside homework," Patrick said.

This complicated story started three years ago when Patrick was a sophomore at Clinton High School. His mom and dad had to take jobs outside the city, Patrick decided to stay in town and moved in with a guardian.

Patrick was a standout receiver for the Clinton Dragons.  In his two seasons there, he notched 19 touchdowns and almost 2,000 yards.

Just before his junior year, he moved to Lenoir City.

"I was living with my guardian at the time, he got the ISS job in Lenoir City so I went with him."

With the Panther, he added another one thousand yard season to his resume. He had offers from all around the SEC, including Ole Miss, Alabama, and Tennessee. In January of his junior year, he committed to the Vols.

Patrick's trainer Devin Driscoll says he's has met many kids with his athletic ability. "Camion's athletic ability is off the charts, but that comes and goes, he's a great kid and that's what matters."

 But before his senior year, Patrick's dad moved back to Knoxville. So Camion transferred to West High School, but TSSAA bylaws state that a transfer student can't participate until his/her eligibility has been verified and approved by the executive director. West provided a transfer form, but TSSAA never approved it. They were waiting on a letter from Lenior City stating that Patrick didn't transfer to due athletic reasons, but TSSAA never received one. So Patrick spent his entire senior season sitting in the stands.

 "I mean it was hard, that's why i cut lose on a couple games because it was hard to go out there and watch. But I got over it with some time."

But Patrick's decision to move didn't just affect his high school career. Several credits didn't transfer between schools, and he had trouble with his grades.As a result, he's not academically eligible for Tennessee, and he is now headed to junior college in January at East Mississippi.

But despite all of life's roadblocks, Patrick isn't letting it block his future to one day play in the SEC.

"Hopefully playing football, getting my grades better through college and hopefully move on to the next level after that."

And Driscoll says he believe Patrick is finally on the right track.
"The kid- he's driven and for the first time in his life, he's finally starting to see a means to the end, and I really think that's helped him get through this time."

           

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