The Class of 2010 was one of the best of the decade in the Greater Cincinnati area. With such a large crop of talent graduating this May, we begin to look at what players will take over as the stars of the local high school gridiron next season with our series, Rising Stars.
Badin quarterback Patrick Coyne enters his senior year with world in his hands. The 6-foot-2, 230 pound signal-caller is surrounded with outstanding talent on the Rams' roster as they are positioned for a deep playoff run.
To top it all off the youngster has already made his verbal commitment to play football for the University of Cincinnati starting in 2011.
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Coyne ascended onto the national scene last spring when college recruiters took notice of his physical skills as he took home honors as the top underclass quarterback at a camp in Indianapolis. This all happened before he ever threw a pass in a varsity game.
His ensuing junior season saw him throw for 1,641 yards nine passing touchdowns while rushing for an additional 491 yards and 11 more scores on the ground. Not a bad varsity debut. Those numbers were good, but not good enough.
"I need to cut down on my (13) interceptions" said Coyne.
The classroom part of football and watching film is where he looks to hone his skills this off-season.
"I get to line up across from one of the best defense backs in the state, Jeff Smith, every day in practice," Coyne suggested. "He'll bring it. He's the quickest player on the team."
Badin made the playoffs a year ago, but were ousted in round one by eventual state runner-up Coldwater, 41-0. It was in this game that Coyne had a revelation about how good you have be at this level and the next after watching the Ball State-bound Keith Wenning shred the Rams' defense for five touchdown passes in less than three quarters of football.
"I was impressed with how the quarterback and the team handled themselves in that situation (post-season football), they were very professional" stated the future Bearcat.
His desire and drive are what wills his effort. It isn't all about Patrick Coyne though. He has a zest and a genuine passion about the players and people that are around him. He is constantly showering them with adjectives and accolades.
The power of the offense is what excites Coyne about his 2010 version of the Rams.
"David Korb is the best guy with the ball in his hands. Nate Snellgrove is a bruiser and Alex Rieman is our sparkplug, he'll run over anything," Coyne claimed. "Tyler Sanders is the best slot receiver in the league."
The love doesn't stop there. The University of Cincinnati and head coach Butch Jones brings a spirited tone to Coyne's voice when he mentions them as well.
"Butch Jones is the best coach in the nation. He is the most charismatic coach, he has the WOW factor," the senior-to-be added.
"We are going to win a national championship UC with him there."
Coyne has been a fixture on the sidelines of the Bearcats' spring practices. The coaches love him as he constantly dials potential recruits urging them to join him in Clifton. He has become the program's biggest fan.
Even with all the unbridled enthusiasm that Coyne posses it is his hard work and ability to recognize the efforts of those alongside that will elevate his game to a new level in 2010 and beyond.
FINAL TAKE: The young man is a winner and gentleman whose best days are still ahead of him. The great news is that the journey is just beginning for Coyne. It is a trek that appears to be destined for greatness.