5-Star Lineman Payne Talks About Big Cat Trip

Shades Valley High star talks about his visit to check out Auburn's Big Cat Weekend.

Birmingham, Ala.--Five-star defensive tackle Daron Payne took another trip to the Plains on Saturday for Big Cat Weekend, but nothing has changed as far as his recruitment is concerned. The Shades Valley star said he still plans on stretching it out until an all-star game or until Signing Day.

Payne said he had a good time visiting with Auburn's coaches on Saturday, and that just hanging out with them instead of focusing on football made the visit unique. The big lineman said he spent the most time with head coach Gus Malzahn and defensive line coach Rodney Garner.

"Just got to see that other side of them, not football," Payne said of the coaches. "All of them are really nice people."

Payne said that hanging out more with Malzahn was the highlight of the trip for him, and that the head coach told him how he could be a big part of the defense if he were to choose the Tigers.

Payne also said that Alabama is currently recruiting him the hardest, but that he doesn't currently have a leader.

"I don't know where I'm going," Payne said. "I'm just going to weigh my options."

The 6-3, 329-pound Payne said growing up an Auburn fan is "up there" when he weighs Auburn and Alabama, but that it's not an overly important factor.

He noted that Auburn, Alabama, Florida State and Texas stand out the most to him right now, and that he is also considering Kentucky because he likes the coaches there.

Payne said the only official visit he knows he's taking for certain right now is to Texas. He said he'll figure out where else he'll visit at some point during the summer.


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