"It was awesome. We had a great visit today," his father, Sean Patterson, tells FOX Sports NEXT.
"We took our unofficial today and it just felt right. Coach Rodriguez was great. I took my older son (Sean Patterson, Jr.), who's a quarterback at Duquesne, who just graduated, and my daughter's boyfriend (Brian Ehrlich) who's a quarterback at Texas A&M-Kingsville. We all came out and had a great meeting with those guys. Shea loves it. What's not to love? They offered Shea, and he verballed.
"It was just a great, great time and Shea fell in love with the place and with Coach Rodriguez and Coach Gibson; I don't know what else to say, we're just so ecstatic."
Arizona's approach was one of the factors that impressed the Patterson family on their visit.
"We're from Ohio originally, so we're real familiar with Coach Rodriguez, him at West Virginia and Michigan, and the offense he runs," says Patterson. "And we really liked what they saw in Shea. They didn't ask him who else was recruiting, or anything like that. They were more concerned about Shea and Arizona; how he fit in at Arizona and not about anybody else or anything else. They just had a genuine interest in him as a person and in his talents. It was unique and it wasn't anything like I'd ever been through. They just made him feel very wanted."
Despite his youth, Patterson has a noteworthy resume early on.
"He spent the summer in Pittsburgh training with his older brother and played against college kids," his dad shares. "He would throw against college DB's and play with college wide receivers. His brother has pretty much trained him. He's got a good role model in him."
In his first year at Hidalgo High School, Patterson was responsible for 2512 total yards, 32 touchdowns, and four turnovers. The freshman earned District MVP, and had the seventh most passing yards in the history of Texas high school football with 583 yards in a game.
His college recruitment was just getting started, but according to his father, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete wasn't interested.
"You know, you go through your whole high school football career wanting to be a D1 college football player," Patterson explains. "His high school coach has been fielding calls from schools and we were just getting started with all that, but these guys have a vision for the program and where it's going, and we believe in them. I think it's a great fit for Shea. We kind of wanted him to have an early commitment, now he can have a direction of where he wants to go and try to do the best he can in high school with this behind him. Now he has to work even harder because he knows what lies ahead, three years from now.
"Shea's older brother played college quarterback, his two sisters are college athletes, we've been through the recruiting process, and we know how it is. I've seen my older son go through it, and you know, every game you're wondering if you had good film or who's looking at you, who's calling. And I just think when you have a program like Arizona and a coach like Rich Rodriguez, why not? I think it's a great fit.
"And Shea is a very humble kid. I don't think he really wanted a high profile recruitment, putting five hats out at the last second type of show. He's not that kind of kid. I'm not saying that's wrong; some people enjoy that, but he's seen what his older brothers and sisters have gone through and the stress of the recruiting process."
Although the commitment came at such an early time, Patterson says his son's word is true.
"He's the kind of kid that is a 4.3 student, when he says he's going to do something, he's going to do it. To some, a verbal commitment may be a verbal commitment, but Shea's may as well be written in stone. Because unless something were to happen that was out of our hands or out of our control, Shea's committed and he will keep his commitment.
"We talked about it on the way out here, we talked about if they happen to offer, be ready, and if you're not ready, there's no pressure to commit. Shea has few words sometimes, but he just said, 'it feels right here, dad.'
"We wanted to do it this way. It's a dream come true for him."