Tuwan Payton (5-8, 175, 4.4) has been a dynamo for New Albany High School this season. He's already rushed for more than 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns with his personal goals of 2,000 yards and 30 TDs well within sight.
In September, he highlighted his season to date with a 390-yard rushing effort in a 55-6 win over Jennings County. He scored seven touchdowns in that game on only 14 carries, averaging an eye-popping 28 yards per attempt. He added another moster performance later that month with 315 yards in a 35-7 win over Madison.
At one point, he was leading the nation in rushing yards per game at 255.6.
An under-the-radar prospect, Payton has yet to draw his first major scholarship offer, but has been hearing from the UK staff lately in addition to programs like Indiana, Indiana State and Northern Illinois.
Two weeks ago, he took his first unofficial visit when he was invited to Lexington to check out UK's game against Florida.
"I got to take a tour of the campus and facilities," he said. "I came away impressed from everything. At the end of the trip, I felt like I wanted to be on the field wearing the blue and white."
Payton plans to return to Lexington this weekend for the Wildcats' game against No. 1 Alabama. The UK staff has requested more film from him, and he's currently in the process of sending his transcripts to the program.
The Cats have emerged as his early favorite, and he's hoping an offer materializes soon.
"Kentucky is my favorite and who doesn't want to play in the SEC where you play against the best teams in the nation every week?" Payton said.
He added that UK will likely get one of his official visits after his senior season has concluded. He hopes to make a decision before Christmas.