Considered one of the top overall receiver prospects in the Southeast, Payton combines terrific size with game changing speed.
"Right now I'm 6-foot-4, and I've been clocked at 4.4 in the forty. I can go over smaller defensive backs or I can go around bigger defenders who try to check me."
Over the past two seasons he's done both for his high school team, to the tune of 21 catches for 411 yards and 2 touchdowns during his sophomore season. This past fall, as a junior, Payton improved his numbers to 51 catches for 822 yards and an amazing 9 touchdowns.
With such a multifaceted receiver prospect relatively close to home, the Blue Devils have made it known how much they want Payton to join the program.
"Duke has stepped up their interest. They are in the top handful of schools who are really recruiting me hard. With Coach Cutcliffe's history of throwing the ball a lot, you have to stop and listen to them when they start talking to you. When he was at Tennessee his offense threw the ball over 500 times in 13 games. That's something that's certainly attractive for an offensive player."
While style of play and the coaching staff will play a big role in his decision, Payton adds that he's looking for the right fit in terms of location and academics as factors in his decision. Something Duke can certainly use.
"They are one of the top academic schools in the country and they are close enough and far enough away from home. They have a lot going for them."
Aside from Duke, Payton reports an offer from NC State, as well as interest from Clemson, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Maryland, and Alabama.
The Palmetto prospect has no timetable for a decision at this time.