Matt Patchan's career has been one of the most star-crossed careers in recent Florida football history — and now, mercifully, it has come to an end, with Patchan telling Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun that he will transfer.
Patchan, a redshirt junior and part of Urban Meyer's recruiting class of 2008, saw action in 27 games in his Florida career on both the offensive and defensive line, and made eight starts, most recently against Florida State in 2011 at the end of seven straight starts at right tackle. Patchan also played defense in his true freshman year in 2008, starting at defensive tackle against Kentucky and recording a sack against Arkansas.
But while some players are injury-plagued, Patchan practically had the plague throughout his five seasons in Gainesville, suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2009 and missing the entire 2010 and 2012 seasons due to injury, and sustained an accidental gunshot wound in 2008, leading fans to wonder if he would ever be truly healthy at UF.
Dooley reports that Patchan already has his transfer destinations picked out: Patchan will either reunite with Meyer at Ohio State or with his former Florida offensive line coach Steve Addazio, who Patchan once called "quite the culinary artist" after he helped out in the kitchen on an in-home recruiting visit, at Boston College. With a degree in anthropology in hand and a year of eligibility left, Patchan will be able to play right away at either school by enrolling as a graduate student.
Patchan's transfer minimally impacts Florida's depth at offensive line: Chaz Green entered 2012 with more starts than Patchan despite having one non-redshirt season of play to Patchan's three, and Kyle Koehne also started games at RT this year. Incoming transfers Tyler Moore and Max Garcia have both played the position before, and JUCO recruit Trenton Brown might compete for time there in 2013. Had Patchan stayed and stayed healthy, he might not have seen the field anyway in his sixth season as a Gator.
Patchan's transfer is the third in just under two weeks for Florida, following De'Ante Saunders' release to transfer being reported earlier on Wednesday and Willie Bailey's decision to transfer being reported on December 14. Those three bits of attrition bring Florida's expected available scholarship total for 2013 to 24 without factoring in Sharrif Floyd's all-but-official departure for the NFL, which should free up a 25th scholarship, and the decisions Dominique Easley, Matt Elam, Jelani Jenkins, and Jordan Reed could still make to go pro. And Florida currently has 25 recruits committed in its Class of 2013.
As always, we wish Patchan well in his post-Florida career. He'll still be a Gator to most of us, and most of you didn't have him in a class where he played iPad games instead of listening to the professor. In fairness, if I had an iPad, I might have done the same.