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Plant City's Patterson named one of 12 finalists for the Rudy Awards

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Sat. December 10, 2011 | Eduardo A. Encina

Plant City senior running back Dazmond Patterson has been named one of 12 finalists for this year's Rudy Awards, a third-year national honor that recognizes student athletes who have inspired their teammates, classmates and communities in the spirit of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, the subject of the movie "Rudy."

Patterson, along with the other 11 finalists will be profiled in PARADE Magazine insert inside this Sunday's St. Petersburg Times. A University of Ohio recruit who is graduating this month, Patterson was chosen from 50 semifinalists from across the nation. 

An undersized 5-foot-8 running back who boasts a 4.8 grade point average, Patterson was raised in a single-parent home by his mother, Kenyatta Shaw. Patterson, whose father has been in prison for most of his life. helped his mother raise two siblings and nine foster children since 2005. 

The winner of the award, which will win a $7,500 college scholarship, will be announced next month. Four runners up with receive $2,500, a fan-favorite winner (decided by a fan vote) will take home $1,500 and the other six finalists will receive a $1,000 scholarship. They will all be feature in the Jan. 15, 2012 edition of PARADE Magazine along with The PARADE All-American Football Team.

The winner will be chosen by a selection committee that include former NFL players Troy Aikman, Drew Bledsoe and Shaun Alexander. 

Reach Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@sptimes.com and follow him on Twitter at @EddieHometeam.

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