Patchan can transfer thanks to loophole

Sources close to the situation have confirmed to that the injury-plagued Florida Gators offensive lineman plans to transfer to either Ohio State to be with former UF coach Urban Meyer or Boston College to be with former UF offensive line coach Steve Addazio.

At first glance, Patchan would appear to be running short on elgibility. He signed with the Gators as part of the Class of 2008 and already has used his one redshirt year for a medical hardship.

Usually a player who transfers from one BCS school to another must sit out a year, but there’s an NCAA rule that actually provides a loophole for Patchan.

Patchan graduated in December, so the “graduate transfer rule” comes into play. If a student-athlete has completed all degree work at his current school, then he can transfer to another institution to pursue an advanced degree while not sitting out a year.

One of the more notable examples of this happening recently came when current Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback Russell Wilson transferred from North Carolina State to Wisconsin for his senior season.

Patchan completed a degree in Anthropology earlier this month. Florida coach Will Muschamp mentioned several players who graduated last week, but Patchan was not one of them.

Patchan was a five-star prospect and ranked the No. 5 offensive tackle in the country coming out of high Tampa (Fla.) Armwood High. His career got off on the right foot when he played in 11 games as a true freshman, including one start.

He then played the first four games of his sophomore year before suffering a season-ending knee injury in late September. He received a medical hardship in 2010 and then came back to play in 12 games, with seven starts in 2011. He then missed this past season with a torn pectoral muscle reportedly suffered in fall practices.

Patchan is the third players to announce a transfer since he season ended. He joins defensive back De’Ante “Pop” Saunders, who reported on earlier Wednesday. True freshman Willie Bailey also decided to transfer two weeks ago.

The departures leave Florida with 74 players on scholarship and room for 24 signees in the Class of 2013. However, Gator Country’s Andrew Spivey, who contributed to this report, believes the Gators will sign more than 24.

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Mike Capshaw brings a wealth of experience to the Gator Country team. He’s been overseeing all editorial aspects of and Gator Country magazine by managing our team of staffers, interns and freelancers. He is now moving into a bigger role as a reporter by covering the football and basketball beats as well as providing coverage of all sports on campus. Mike’s 15 years in the business has included more than six years of covering SEC sports and recruiting at a daily newspaper in Arkansas. He has also helped launch a newspaper, magazines, websites and even a sports talk radio show. Because Mike puts family ahead of his career, he left the place where he was established when his wife received an opportunity to further her career at UF. He took a leap of faith that he could find a job in the Gainesville area and worked for a year at a newspaper group before joining the Gator Country family in November, 2011. Mike has won Florida Press Association awards for Best Sports Game Story and Best Sports Feature Story in the past two years as well as a company-wide award at his former newspaper group that includes some 60 publications, for Excellence in Sports Reporting. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeCapshawGC.