Payne Talks to BCI about Commitment

As Bearcat Insider told members earlier this morning, Lynell Payne from Cherokee High School in New Jersey committed to play football for the Bearcats. Bearcat Insider spoke with Lynell about his recent decision.

Like many highly recruited high school players, Lynell Payne of Cherokee High School in Marlton, New Jersey was glad his recruitment had reached a conclusion when BCI spoke with the future Bearcat on Thursday evening.  "I just want to finish my senior year.  Now that I've got my decision out of the way, I want to focus on my high school team and our season."  Cherokee High School is 3-1 with its homecoming game this weekend.


Payne took his official visit to Cincinnati on the weekend of September 22 and watched the Marshall football game along with another Bearcat recruit Quincy Quetant.  Lynell's commitment combined with Quetant's earlier verbal gave the Bearcats a perfect 2-0 recruiting record for the weekend.


At the time, the three star receiver said he would definitely visit UConn before making any college choice.  Being true to his word, Payne visited Storrs the next weekend and Clemson last weekend before deciding to become a Bearcat.  He explained the reasons for his decision.  "I took the other visits to see what the other schools had to offer me.  During the visits I was looking at the pros and cons.  Then I went through my list and made my decision.  I thought Cincinnati was the best place for me with the academic help, the offense they run and the coaching staff."


The happy phone call to Charley Molnar, Cincinnati's receiver coach, came Wednesday evening.  "I called Coach Molnar and just broke it down to him.  He was very excited."


The 6' 3" wideout was aware of the fact that Cincinnati's scholarships were dwindling fast.  "I knew they didn't have too many left."


With three straight weekends of traveling, Lynell was unable to see the recent Bearcat games on television, but he's well aware of the outcomes.  "I really like what they're doing.  Coach Kelly is really bringing them together."  He missed the Bearcat victory over Rutgers because he was at Clemson, but plans to watch this week's contest with Louisville. 


Payne had a number of scholarship offers, but Clemson and Cincinnati were apparently the finalists.  Tommy Bowden and the Tigers recruited him as a safety while the Bearcats wanted the talented athlete as a receiver.  At Cherokee High School, Lynell plays both ways.  He plays receiver and cornerback and talked about his performances so far.  "I've been doing pretty well.  I've been putting up some numbers, but I have only one score.  They don't throw to me too much."


One of Lynell's hosts while on his official visit to Cincinnati was Chazz Anderson, and the freshman quarterback made a big impression on the newest Bearcat.  In fact, Lynell made sure to immediately inform his future teammate of his decision.  "As soon as I committed, I texted Chazz.  He was the first to know I committed." 


Payne estimated a 2.6 GPA and will retake the SAT in November.  He's very confident grades won't be a problem in gaining his NCAA eligibility.


Payne becomes the eighteenth player to verbally commit to the Bearcats.  He can sign his official letter-of-intent in early February. 

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