Layne Emerging as Playmaker, Talks Michigan

2016 Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine four-star wide receiver Justin Layne discusses his start to the season, a recent loss Friday, impression of Michigan, new schools, visits and more.

CLEVELAND -- Easily one of the best overall athletes in the 2016 class, football or basketball, Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine four-star wide receiver Justin Layne is a threat to hit the end zone at any time.

Friday, in a 27-12 loss to Bedford, Layne opened up the scoring with a 28-yard touchdown reception.

“Off the line (the cornerback) was pressing me so I did a move on him and I had him beat but he was still holding on to me,” Layne said. “We both fell and I got up as fast as I could and the quarterback threw the ball to me in a good spot and I scored.”

While Layne continued with his duties as kick returner for Benedictine, the offensive approach centered on 2015 Florida linebacker commitment Jerome Baker who also doubles as a quarterback and running back offensively.

Late in the game, toward the end of the third quarter, Benedictine looked to target Layne some more and that resulted in a few drops. Layne admitting he needs to make sure he’s focused at all times.

“It’s very difficult to try to stay locked in,” Layne said. “But I got to do what I got to do. I just got to hang in there I guess.”

In the midst of a big junior season as college coaches eyes are looking on closely, Layne has a plan to become a more complete wide receiver.

“Maybe running cleaner routes and coming out of my breaks better,” Layne said. “And also my perimeter blocking. Sometimes I tend to be a little bit lazy so working on that.”

Holding an offer from the Michigan Wolverines after making it up to both a football and basketball camp in Ann Arbor over the summer, Layne is planning to make a return trip.

“My dad and I have not picked a date out yet,” Layne said. “We’re still deciding on that but we really haven’t talked about visits much cause we’re just focused on the season right now and school cause there’s already a lot going on.”

Of Michigan, Layne added what stands out about the program to him at this point early in his recruitment.

“I like that everybody plays hard and with a chip on their shoulder,” Layne said. “I like the coaching staff cause of the way they come at you and treat you like family even if they don’t know you. The family part stands out.”

Rutgers and Kentucky are two other schools recently getting involved in Layne’s recruiting process and it looks like both could be in line to receive visits this fall.

“If I were go to a game I would probably go somewhere that I haven’t visited already,” Layne said. “I’d probably go to like a Penn State game or a Notre Dame or something like that.

“With Michigan, I’ve already been up to Michigan a couple of times, Michigan State a couple times and Ohio State a couple times so I want to try something different.”


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