"Colleges are coming every day now that our program has come up a lot," says Payne, who was the top defensive lineman for an AHS team that was undefeated in the regular season last fall. Auburn's only loss came to state champion Prattville, which pulled out a comeback victory in the last minute vs. the Tigers.
The two colleges that have offered scholarships to Payne are Western Kentucky and Colorado State. "I really don't know too much about them, but I have talked to the coaches and they seem pretty cool," he says.
He notes that he has been in contact with Auburn University coaching staff, too. "I talked to them a couple of weeks ago," Payne says. "They told me they like me and let me know they are watching me."
Payne says he is working on becoming a better conditioned athlete as a senior. "We started spring practice on Monday and everything is going good," he says. "I am in way better shape than I was last year. I am right at 330. My goal is to be at 315 for the season.
"My other goals are to lead my team in tackles and I want to be a team leader--a vocal one," he adds.
Also this spring the defensive tackle competed on the AHS track and field team. He finished sixth in the state meet in the shot put with a toss of 47 feet, 11 inches.
"We have a couple more weeks of spring training and then we play a jamboree game vs. Stanhope-Elmore (May 20th)," Payne says.