Payton committed but open

The Florida Gators are in big need of play makers at receiver and feel like they are headed in the right direction with Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast electric man Tristan Payton. Payton and his Buccaneer teammates started spring practice on Thursday and Scout was there to watch. He is part of a four man starting receiver group that should put on a show this year.

Payton was ready to get after it on Thursday even with a downpour of rain during the session. He loves the fact that he has three other receivers that are going to help light up the scoreboard with him this year.

"It feels pretty good, first day of practice coming out here with the guys, watching and learning," he said. It is good having good guys next to me. I can count on them.

Payton believes his team is headed to a state championship this season and believes he can put the season on his shoulders if need be. He talked about why he picked Florida so early in the process.

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"Florida is a good program, it isn't all about the sports," he said. "It is also about the academics. They have nice players and coaches that I can look up to as well."

Payton said that he and his mother decided on Florida together, that she likes the proximity and that it is a great school. However, his commitment hasn't kept others from coming after him and he is looking back. Ohio State was there to see him on Thursday.

"I hear a lot from Ohio State, Maryland and a couple of more schools," he said. "I tell them that I am still open. Florida asks sometimes, but when you are committed, they feel like you are all there."

After spring he is most focused on working toward a great senior year, but will likely take some trips over the summer.

"I am going to grind hard with my team," he said. "I will probably visit Ohio State and Florida of course."

We will stay focused on Payton throughout the process here at Scout.com.


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