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Two-time Maryland state wrestling titlist and 189-pound national senior high school champion Patrick Downey III (No. 13 @ 189) of North County High on Friday signed a letter of intent to wrestle at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, OR.

His father, Patrick Downey Jr., and Clackamas head wrestling coach Josh Rhoden made the announcement Friday. In March, Downey was allowed to return to North County after prosecutors dropped criminal charges against him.

?I feel great. I?m really excited to be out here training out in Oregon with the returning national champions. It?s like a factory. They get top guys and they have good connections to Division I programs,? said Patrick Downey III, 18, in a phone interview from Portland.

?I definitely feel fortunate to be in this position because a lot of colleges were standoffish because of the attention that I was getting, so I definitely feel grateful,? said Patrick Downey III, who said he earned a 3.5 grade average on his most recent report card. ?It?s good to have Coach Rhoden and a clean, fresh start. My goal is that I?m really looking forward to winning a Juco National title, a Division I title and making the Olympics.?

Administrators allowed Downey back into Anne Arundel County public schools after the Maryland State?s Attorney elected not to pursue a case of second-degree assault, robbery and theft in relation to a September incident.

Downey and two friends were accused by a fourth North County student of not paying for a bag of marijuana and then driving away while the 16-year-old dealer was attempting to get back into the car. But inconsistencies in the victim?s statements led to the case being thrown out, prosecutors said at the time.

Downey still faces charges of first-degree assault in connection with a fight in a parking lot in Baltimore?s M&T Bank Stadium in November 2009 and another in June 2010 at an 18-and-over club on Guilford Avenue.

Rhoden said Downey projects at 184 pounds, a position that will allow him to fill the shoes of graduating sophomore and two-time All-American Brett Sanchez.

?Pat is a great addition to our program,? Rhoden said in a prepared statement. ?And we look forward to helping him further his wrestling career during his time with us here at Clackamas.?

Considered among the nation?s premiere high school wrestlers, Patrick Downey III was victorious at the April 1 senior National High Schools tournament at 189 pounds over the course of five bouts.

For Complete Article by Lem Satterfield, Glen Burnie Patch