Yelm’s Isaiah Patterson Announces Commitment to UCLA


Isaiah Patterson, an upcoming senior linebacker at Yelm High School, announced his commitment to the University of California Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 24.

UCLA finished with a 9-4 record in 2022, which included a 6-3 record in the Pac-12 conference and an appearance in the Sun Bowl. The Bruins project to use Patterson in a “hybrid” linebacker role, where he’ll play an off-ball role, and possibly serve as an edge rusher.

“I went down to UCLA and loved my visit. I have a really good relationship with Coach Ken Norton Jr. and Coach Chip Kelly, and they made me feel like I’m at home,” Patterson told the Nisqually Valley News following his commitment. “I felt like UCLA was going to be the best place for me to develop as a player and a person. I believe they can develop me into a player that can play beyond college.”

Patterson enjoyed his official visit to UCLA in early May so much that he nearly committed then. He said he loved the campus and the location of the school, which played a role in his decision.

“I plan on enrolling early to UCLA,” Patterson said. “To be able to learn from players and coaches that have done it before me, and use their experience, knowledge and apply it early on, I feel will help me in the long run.”

Patterson said he plans on being a pre-med student at UCLA, which he described as a great program at the school.

“Everything academically checks out,” he said. “Once I’m done with football, I’ll have something to fall back on.”

Finding a university to call home can be a stressful and daunting task for college-bound athletes. Patterson said he felt like a weight had been lifted off of him following his decision to join the Bruins.

“It’s awesome being committed. Before my commitment, I was talking to several coaching staffs a day, close to 10 a week,” Patterson said. “Now being able to focus on one school and staying locked in there is great. I can just play ball, and set myself up for a big senior season and whatever comes after that.”

The linebacker was a key piece to Yelm’s 2022 3A state championship team, as he finished his junior season with 111 tackles, 11 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. Patterson said he’s excited for the future and he feels this is just the beginning for him.

Patterson announced his commitment through social media platforms on May 24. Like every athlete, someone in their life dedicated time toward his journey. The Westwood-bound athlete had several people he wanted to thank.

“I’d like to thank my grandparents and my mother for supporting me along my journey,” Patterson said. “I’d also like to thank my training partners and coaches that have helped me get to this point.”