Chris Payne is commit #3 from Gulf Coast C.C. (MS), the others being WR Javon Bell and OL Rashad Fortenberry. Originally a South Carolina commit out of high school and at that time, he was a very highly rated player, a top 150 player in the country. Also, everything I've read says that he's a linebacker, but I think was originally a safety coming out of high school, which is why his Rivals profile says that he plays safety. From the film, he plays linebacker at Gulf Coast C.C., but I could be wrong about that and any help in the comments would be greatly appreciated.
Let's get to it.
The Player Speaks: LAJ's Don Williams spoke with Payne, who very much enjoyed his visit, to Lubbock, however by the time I've written this profile, Payne has already signed his letter of intent and will be on campus in January and will have three years to play three years of football:
“The whole time I was there, I had a great time, talking to the academic lady, even talking to the trainers,” said Payne, who visited Tech on Thursday and Friday. “It’s like a big family. I never felt like I was away from home. I just loved the whole vibe and the whole city.”
Payne's JUCO coach talked about Payne as a player and his coach describes the type of player that Texas Tech needs:
“Chris is an outstanding linebacker -- can really run, very physical, very active,” Mississippi Gulf Coast coach Steve Campbell said. “He’s real good at tackling in space, and I think he’s very effective against a spread offense that can throw the football around, because he’s got real good coverage skills and he’s physical enough to play in box, but he runs well enough to be very effective in coverage.”
Offers and Rankings: Payne apparently had offers from Michigan St., Kentucky, and S. Florida. That's not a bad offer list as far as I'm concerned. No real rankings that I could find.
2011_PAYNE.wmv (via mgcccfootball)
Scouting Report: This is where things get interesting. You can see Payne's height and weight, and in fact on Rivals, they still have him weighing only 190 pounds, but I think he's heavier than that and 24/7 has him at 215. So Payne is fairly slight and he's not the biggest player on the field, but he does make plays. The video above was tough to watch, only because I had to watch it four times to get an idea as to who Payne was. The thing that stood out to me was that Payne is very quick and he does get around the football quite a bit, but it is his highlight film.
What really stood out to me was that Payne recorded 78 tackles. That in itself isn't all that impressive, however, he amassed those 78 tackles in just 7 games, which is about 11 tackles a game. He had 8.0 TFL and 3.0 sacks, which means that he had a TFL for each game he played.
The other encouraging thing is that at the end of the year at his teams football awards ceremony, Payne was given the 2011 Harold "War Daddy" White Trophy. From what I can gather, what this means is that he was the teams player with the biggest heart or plays with the most passion or something like that. Players that are recognized for the way that they play the game is usually a good sign. I'm excited.
Chris, welcome to Texas Tech and Git Your Guns Up!
The 2012 Class: Working on it.