Van Jefferson and Shae Patterson are very familiar with one another. The former Ole Miss duo connected for a plethora of yards and touchdowns during their time in Oxford (Miss.).
However, once the NCAA put sanctions on the Rebels, several players opted to end their careers with a different program. Now, for the first time as collegiate players, Jefferson and Patterson will be on opposing sidelines when No. 10 Florida (9-3, 5-3) and No. 7 Michigan (10-2, 8-1) meet in Atlanta.
"Yea well me and Shea talking was like 'man this is crazy that we're playing in the bowl game against each other when we just left so it's kinda, it's kinda crazy that I'm playing against him but he's opposing team now,” Jefferson said.
Jefferson later revealed him, and Patterson discussed being a package deal for which ever school they ultimately decided on. Thankfully for the Gators, the 6-foot-2 receiver brought his talents to Gainesville (Fla.).
"Yea we talked about it. We took a visit up there. We were both, you know, saying we were going to Michigan, but I just didn't feel like that was the place for me so, he was pushing for me to come there but ultimately I wanted to be a Gator."
Patterson and Jefferson were able to build a great relationship on and off the field during their time at Ole Miss, but this week they’re each focused on their own teams.
“I’m just kind of focused on my team, my current team right now, my teammates sitting next to me right now. Obviously, it’s really cool that it’s our Bowl Week and his too. I’m happy for him. I think we’re both just ready to get out there and compete.”
Despite being focused on the game and their preparation, the two still have had some fun with a bit of smack talk.
“I think last night (laughs) yea last night, Shea was giving me crap a little bit last night but you know it was all fun and games though. We talked and I told him 'man you're doing good this season man, keep it up but Saturday you know it's on,” Jefferson said.
Both players have thrived at their new destinations with Jefferson leading the Gators in receptions (31), yards (439) and touchdowns (6), while Patterson tossed 21 touchdowns and 2,364 yards.