D'Andre Payne went through the process of cutting his offer list to 10 schools, and now comes the really tough part…trimming it further.
However, before he does so the Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.) Scout 300 cornerback will do plenty of work to see how the schools – Florida State, Tennessee, Ohio State, Virginia, Maryland, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Stanford and Michigan – fit into what he wants in a program.
"I say a good family figure (is needed)," the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Payne said. "I want to be able to come to the coaches for stuff, not just for football. I want to be able to come to them for stuff outside of football, just life situations.
"Early playing time is going to come into effect. If I'm ready to play at the next level, I think I should be on the field early. I don't think location is a factor. I think I will be able to go anywhere, in any weather, and adjust."
Payne, a four-star recruit ranked No. 220 in the Scout 300, already visited Florida State, Ohio State and Michigan, and he will be at Tennessee on Saturday.
"(Linebackers) coach (Tommy) Thigpen, I was talking to him when he was at Auburn," Payne said. "He used to play with my uncle, so they're good friends. I hear from Tennessee the most. Clemson, Michigan, Maryland…but everyone is on Facebook."
The lone school where distance could be a major factor is Stanford, which was the latest school to offer. But Payne has the Cardinal in his final 10, and he plans on visiting campus.
"An offer coming from a school like that, with great academics, it's really good," he said. "I'm going to try and take a visit this summer. I don't know much about them, but I know it's a good program. They were in the Rose Bowl last year.
"They got some good things going on out there. I'm starting to look into them more since they offered. I know they're one of the top (academic) schools in the country and they have a good sports management program. I was asking the coach and he was telling me about it. When I take my visit, I'll look into it even more."
One school that Payne likes a lot is Florida State, and he created a buzz when he arrived at the Next Level Nation Five-star combine over the weekend wearing a Seminoles jacket.
"It's nothing really," Payne said. "That is one of the schools I'm really interested in. They're doing some good things there. I went down there on my visit and had a good time and when I went down there I talked to Ronald Darby."
Scout 300 CB Payne talks top 10
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