Tom Izzo has coached interior talent before. Zach Randolph was a prized recruit in East Lansing. Paul Davis arrived with much fanfare and the Spartans certainly have recruited well. However, Payne is a totally unique center to the MSU lineup.
Payne's strength is his length, ability to run the floor and swat shots. His offensive arsenal has expanded each year while playing for Dayton Jefferson and All-Ohio Red. Last summer, Payne was even spotted connecting on 3-pointers.
Payne's seemingly played a supporting role when he's been around great talent and on occasion made major impacts at events. The next step is to become a leading man and should that happen, Payne's stock will rise once more.
Michigan State's recruiting class is shaping up to be outstanding. Dynamic guard Keith Appling is in the fold and he can score. Russell Byrd, when his confidence is high, is a lights out shooter. Alex Gauna is the type of big man Izzo cultivates into a good player. Three of the recruits appear in the Top 100, two are Top 50 prospects and Payne is in the Top 20.