Payne Gives a Rundown

Keion Payne grew up following Florida State and has the Seminoles in his top five. "I'm a big Deion Sanders fan," Payne said. "I would watch him play a lot and would try to play like him. I love him. He was awesome at FSU and that's when I started really watching them." Payne's other favorites are Miami, Tennessee, Florida and Ohio State. "I think I'll commit sooner rather than later and..."

Keion Payne, the 6-foot, 168-pound three-star cornerback from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., grew up following Florida State and has the Seminoles in his top five.

"I'm a big Deion Sanders fan," Payne said. "I would watch him play a lot and would try to play like him. I love him. He was awesome at FSU and that's when I started really watching them."

Payne, ranked as the No. 26 cornerback in the country by Scout.com, still denies a leader but says he favors Florida State, Miami, Tennessee, Florida and Ohio State. All of his favorites have offered as well as Oklahoma State, Rutgers, South Florida, West Virginia, Nebraska, Maryland and several others (27 total).

Additionally, he's already been to the campuses of all his favorites and attended camps at Florida and Florida State.

"Urban Meyer is a great coach," he said of the Gator head coach. "I love what he's done and the Gators are the best team right now. I love the confidence they have."

Another coaching staff that has impressed Payne is Tennessee. "I really like the new coaches," he said. "I talk with them a lot and really admire them. They've had great success in the past and I think they'll be winning again soon.

"They develop winners and know what it takes to get to the next level," Payne said. "They are go-getters and do whatever they can to get the job done."

Payne says he feels similarly towards the coaching staff at Miami. "Miami is a great program that knows how to get guys into the league," he said. "I can't stress that enough…I really want to go where they'll help me develop and where they'll help me reach my goals of getting into the NFL.

In addition to making the NFL, Payne also says he'll be looking for early playing time and a stable coaching staff. "I really want to play early," he said. "I'd also like to play for the coaches that recruit me and not have them recruit me and then not be there."

Earlier this year Payne was at Ohio State for the Buckeyes spring game. "I loved it," he said. "I love the whole tradition at Ohio State and the rich history they have. I've been liking them for a while and I like how they always do well."

Payne doesn't have any official visits scheduled yet and says he isn't certain if he'll end up taking all five. "I'm not sure yet," he said. "I may not take them all. I think I'll commit sooner rather than later and will get it over with."

He finished his junior season with 33 tackles, 15 pass break-ups, four interceptions and one fumble recovered.

"I have a good knowledge of the game," Payne said. "I have good technique and the ability to do it all. I have great instincts too."

He says he can bench 235-pounds and has a 36-inch vertical jump.

"I'd like to be a true come-up-and-hit-you-type corner," he said. "I want to be more physical."

Payne starts his senior season on Saturday, Aug. 29 when St. Thomas Aquinas heads to Ohio to take on Upper Arlington High School.

He plans on being an entrepreneur and may major in business. Payne reports a 3.0 core GPA and a 1080 two-part SAT.


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