5-Star Payne Starts Season With A Win

Daron Payne and the Shades Valley Mounties started the season with a 38-15 win over Oak Mountain.

Irondale, Ala. – Junior defensive tackle Daron Payne showed on opening night in a 38-15 victory over Oak Mountain why he is already a Scout.com five-star prospect for the class of 2015.

Payne was physically dominating at the point of attack as the Mounties held the Eagles without a first down in the opening quarter. Meanwhile, 2015 offensive athlete Keith Mixon was racking up the yards and touchdowns as Shades Valley cruised to an easy win.

"It was a good game," Payne said. "We played hard on defense and offense and came out with the win. I've got to work on my conditioning so I can play all the way through."

Payne, at 6-3 and 315 pounds, played his best early in game, but fatigued during a hot night in late August.

Payne, who has offers from Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and others, has just one year of varsity under his belt and two years of defensive line experience.

"I used to play O-line," he said. "I like D-line better. I moved over in high school, in ninth grade. I just started getting big in middle school. I was about 6-0, 220 in eighth grade."

Payne grew up an Auburn fan but maintains that Alabama is a slight leader because of its recent success, and the two in-state schools are at the top of his list. However, he is in no hurry to make any decisions.

"The letters and offers started coming in the spring." he said. "It's been a little different, but I can't change. I've got to keep working hard. I'm not really worried about it right now because I'm just trying to help my team."

Payne and Mixon visited Clemson over the weekend for its big win over Georgia, an arrangement lined up because of a relationship between the Shades Valley and Clemson coaches.

As far as future visits Payne said he hasn't talked to any college coaches and he is focused on his junior season, but is expected to trip to Mississippi State this Saturday to see the Bulldogs.

"My goals this year are to win state and to try to help the linebackers get more tackles," he noted.

In the weight room Payne puts up big numbers for a prospect two years away from playing his first college snap.

"I bench press 425, squat like 450 and power clean about 320," he said.

Click here to watch highlights of Payne vs. Oak Mountain.

Another Shades Valley defender who is getting attention from colleges is senior safety Mike Carter.

Click here to watch him in action vs. the Eagles.

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