The 6'1, 230-lber is a native of Flint and has spent the past two seasons with the Michigan Wolverines. He has been dealing with asthma, something that limited him in his time with the maize and blue.
"I had a lot of inflamation," he explained, "the doctor told me I was using only 65% of my lung capacity, so it made conditioning hard because I would get light headed and almost pass out. I still played, still worked and still competed."
Patilla is still currently in Ann Arbor working with doctors and trying various medication. He says so far it is working and he has seen great strides. However, his health was the catalyst for his decision to transfer from Ann Arbor, but he also felt slighted with some of the changes going on in Wolverine country.
"There were a lot of things I didn't agree with," he said, "I didn't like what was going on. My health issues were present when the old staff was there and I felt like the new staff didn't care too much."
His health issues nearly caused Patilla to quit the sport he loved, saying "I had no intention of ever playing again." Then schools began inquiring and he had a list of several schools including Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Bowling Green and Saginaw Valley State to choose from.
"I was just trying to find something different," he confessed, "I wanted to get away from Ann Arbor, start out new and Grand Valley is a good team, the campus is nice and they have nice surroundings."
Recruited as a linebacker, Patilla played a number of positions for the Wolverines, most recently fullback but says he will start out as a defensive end for the Lakers. He will have three years of eligibility left, but right now is not sure he will be able to play in the upcoming season.
"We're still working it out, I withdrew from my classes in the winter, so we have to get that taken care of. I'm taking summer classes and I'm confident I'll be able to be on the field this year."
While there have been some hard feelings, Patilla also wanted to be sure Wolverine fans and former teammates know he is still a Wolverine at heart. He is simply happy to have an opportunity to wipe the slate clean.
"It feels good. I'm eager to get to GVSU and meet the players and help them win national championships like they're used to doing. I'm still in Ann Arbor working at the hospital until July though and I'm still cool with all my friends and guys at UM. They're still my team, they'll always be my team. They were my team as a kid and I'm still a Michigan fan."