Lone Star DT is a Recruiting Rarity

It's fairly uncommon for high school players to enroll as college freshmen in the spring. Kendrick Payne from Houston Klein Forest is one of those players, which naturally makes him that much more attractive of a prospect. The Sun Devils have taken notice of the defensive tackle and will bring him in for a visit. Devils Digest talked to Payne about his recruitment with the maroon and gold.

When it comes to newcomers on a team, college coaches often talk about the importance of a player coming in the spring, getting acclimated in the off-season to his school and surroundings, and gaining invaluable experience during spring practice, all before the rigors of training camp begin in the summer.

Therefore, Kendrick Payne standing at 6-3 260, has become somewhat of hot commodity, and playing defensive tackle, a coveted role to fill in any recruiting class, has him experiencing a swell of interest from schools.

ASU offered the Klein Forest star last Wednesday through Sun Devil defensive coordinator Coach Bray, who also had an in-home visit Monday night. Payne mentioned he has received recruiting information from ASU for several months, and that the Sun Devils have picked up their recruitment of him in the last couple of weeks.

"Coach Bray came to my house and showed me the facilities (using brochures) and they are pretty nice," said Payne. "He showed me pictures of the games, the weight room, the campus, and I really liked it… He was talking to my mom about the academic part."

Coaches from Rice, Tulane, and Iowa State have already had in-home visits with defensive tackle. "I already took an official visit to Rice last weekend, and I have two coming up this week," he stated. "I am visiting Iowa State this weekend and I think I am going straight from there to Tulane. I am visiting Arizona State the following week."

TCU has also offered Payne, but were recruiting him as an offensive lineman which is less desirable to him since he believes that he is a better defensive tackle. He added that Oklahoma State has been showing some interest, but it is unclear if they have offered him a scholarship or not.

"I get off the ball strong and I am quick," he said of his skills. "I have good agility. One thing I do need to work on is definitely getting stronger. If I get stronger I will definitely get better." Payne and the Eagles were 9-3 on the season and lost in second round of the playoffs.

The defensive tackle has been a busy man off the field too. "I have been taking weekend classes so I don't get to watch college football or football at all," he commented. "I did see Arizona State a few times and I liked watching them play."

As mentioned, Payne is scheduled to graduate this month. "I took my final exam Sunday, so I am finished with that," he said. "I just recently re-took the SAT, but the first time I scored 1500 total. My GPA is a 4.2."

Due to the fact that he is planning to sign on December 19th, ASU will be his last visit before he officially pledges to any school.

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