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Patrick South turns down athletic offers for academics

It could be the nearly 3,500 career yards that he picked up playing football for Johnson County High School, the key defensive plays he made on the basketball court, maybe the impressive 30 he scored on the ACT, or possibly even the 4.0 GPA that made him one of his classes’ five valedictorians, but regardless of what specific accomplishment you look at there is no denying that Patrick South is a remarkable young man who undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of him.
With all that in mind it’s not much of a surprise that South has won numerous recognitions and was recently given a rare honor as the 2014 Gene “Pappy” Thompson Award recipient. Yet, with high school now behind him Patrick is turning his sights to the next big hurdle, college life. Most shocking was South’s decision to turn down numerous athletic offers from surrounding schools, to take a much more academic approach, seeking out a degree from East Tennessee State University’s Pharmacy School.
“Well, I mean I always liked science and it’s really heavy in science,” South said about the decision.  “I just came across it, researched it a little bit. I thought it would be interesting so I went and job shadowed Sam Adams one day. I enjoyed that pretty well so I figured I might try that. I may get there and decide I don’t like it and change my mind but my options are open at this point. Sports were always secondary.”
Between practices, studying, and hitting the drag strip on the weekend. South admits he hasn’t really had much time to himself in the past few years, but now that he’s going to be getting out on his own that could change.  “Hopefully I’ll have a little time to figure things out and maybe have a little fun,” South said.  “That’s why I kind of stayed away from athletics. I want to see what college is like and I’m going to have a pretty heavy schedule my first semester. I’m enrolled with 19 hours and anything more than that you have to have a permit from the dean so I figure I’m going to have it pretty tough that first semester. I’m going to take a little time to figure out how hard this is really going to be. I don’t want to rush into anything and get into something I can’t handle.”

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