Payne hoping to follow Modica to UA

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson writes about El Dorado grid standout Brandon Payne, the younger brother of current Razorback hoops star Jonathon "Pookie" Moidca. The Arkansas Toyota Dealers have a special promotion for Razorback baseball. Click on a banner to enter a contest for free tickets to Razorback baseball.

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He may never achieve the fame of his older brother and thus never have the opportunity to be known by a single name.

He also may never even play for the Razorbacks, but from what I have seen, young Mr. Brandon Payne will become a success wherever he ends up in college and in whatever he does when he graduates.

Payne, a 6-1, 180-pound wideout from El Dorado, is the half-brother of current Razorback basketball star Jonathon "Pookie" Modica. They have the same mom and you can see the family resemblance in his face.

He may not have the same sculptured physique right now that Pookie does, but he is still an impressive looking athlete who makes no secret of how he wants to follow his brother to Fayetteville.

"That would just be fantastic," Payne said a few moments after finishing up the FCA combine in Little Rock a little less than two weeks ago. "I have been there a lot to see my brother and hang around the other guys and I just feel very c omfortable. I hope it works out for me."

Payne has heard the whispers that he might be getting publicity just because he's Modica's brother. So what says Payne.

"Some people say the only reason I am getting recognized is because of my brother," Payne said. "All I have to say to that is I will take it however I can. I know that once I get the attention I have to do something to earn it then."

Payne, whose best 40 time has been 4.6, is hearing from Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, Northwestern, Louisiana Tech, Memphis and some Ivy League schools because he is a very good student.

"There is no doubt who the favorite is in that bunch - it's Arkansas," Payne said.

He'll be on hand for at least one of Razorback head coach Houston Nutt's football camps this summer.

"I wasn't happy with my 40 time (at the FCA combine), but I think coaches know that the best part of my game is actually getting out on the field and making plays," Payne said.

A fair comparison might be to former Razorback George Wilson in that Payne is a player that gets to where he needs to be at the time he needs to be there.

"My strengths are the way I run my routes, be able to catch anything thrown to me and making plays once I do get the ball," Payne said. "There are a lot of receivers that have got hands, others that have got speed and even some that have both, but not many that do the little things right to make themselves a complete player. My routes are run precise."

"I like to think my work ethic, my attention to detail, being smart on the field and knowing how to read and take advantages of coverages are major pluses in my favor," Payne added. "And it's not like I am slow. My 40-time just doesn't blow people away. It will get better."

El Dorado did not make the state playoffs for the first time in seven seasons last year.

"That was heartbreaking, but I would like to think we always learn lessons from our mistakes," Payne said. "This year we have a lot of people coming back and our mindset is to win our conference and to make a run for the title."

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