When GoBlueWolverine spoke with Flint Carman Ainsworth LB Quintin Patilla on the sideline of the Michigan high school All-Star game last weekend, his excitement over his commitment to the Wolverines in the weeks previous still had not worn off. In this instance, the Michigan coaching staff did not have to do much selling. In Patilla's mind, he wonders why anyone would turn down the opportunity to wear the winged helmet.
This young man's quick rise from unknown prospect to Wolverine commitment was a bit unexpected. Because of that, it has drawn a host of doubters to the forefront. In a recent scrimmage against Detroit Redford, a few of the Husky players expressed those doubts on the field. Various fans from various schools have also expressed them on the internet. To combat all of the naysayers, Patilla plans to let his play do the talking. "The Redford scrimmage was going real well," he said. "After I made a couple of big plays, they started to ask me what schools were looking at me. I told them that I'm going to Michigan. After that they started talking a lot of junk and delivering a few cheap shots. They even put a couple cheap shots on a few of my teammates. When I got on defense I had to lay a couple of dudes out to send a message. All on the internet people talk junk too. They say they don't understand why Michigan picked me up. Others wonder why I didn't go with Otis Wiley to State. The way I see it, I worked hard. My boy Otis did his thing, and I'm going to do mine. It just so happens that Michigan pulled my card. This is where I wanted to be at since I was a little kid. This has been my dream. Standing out here on the field, I'm getting goose bumps…and I'm not even playing! This is I'd rather be at. Even if I had gone there (to Michigan State), this would have still been my team. I love Michigan. I'm just going to go out and play football."
Quintin and future teammate Antonio Bass
The "haters" have done nothing to dampen Patilla's enthusiasm or spirit. The criticisms that he doesn't find comical are just used as motivation. Hardly anything could bring him down now that he knows he will be donning the winged helmet in a little over a year. That much was evident as he stood on the Big House sideline last Saturday. "It is real exciting to be here," said Patilla. "I've been trying to get in touch of coach Carr since I've been here, but I think he is out of town. Back home I've been trying to get in touch with some of the other commitments like Brandon Graham and David Cone. I haven't been able to get their phone numbers to talk to them yet. I'd especially like to talk to B. Graham. He is only an hour away. Maybe we can hook up and have a couple of practice sessions just to get to know each other. We know that as incoming freshmen it's going to be hard. Nothing is going to come easy for us."
As much as Patilla looks forward to his college days in Ann Arbor, his primary focus is currently on his high school team. The two-way star has big plans for Carman Ainsworth this season. "I've been working out and getting better with my team," Patilla said. I think we can play at Ford field and win a state championship. That's another dream. We were 6-4 last year. We're going to be better this season though. We're missing Otis, but we're filling his shoes. We've got some big guys coming on defense. I think we're going to surprise some people!"