Checking in with DT Jamichael Payne

Jamichael Payne is truly hard to overlook. It is generally very difficult to miss a 6'1" 338 pound guy, no matter what the situation may be. However, until now, that is precisely what has happened with Payne.

Jamichael Payne Profile

Prior to last week, Jamichael's recruiting has been very regional. The Auburn High junior had been hearing from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Southern Miss and Memphis. Over the last week and a half, the scope has drastically changed. Jamichael is now hearing from Illinois, LSU, Middle Tennessee, South Florida, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Wisconsin and others.

"Recruiting has been going pretty good," Payne says. "There are a lot of programs looking at me. I am just blessed to have a great opportunity to play somewhere. I want to lose a little weight and get a little faster."

Jamichael's weight has been a hot topic with some coaches during the offseason although he has turned his focus to trimming down and getting in better shape. The effort has already paid off for the big defensive tackle, and people are already starting to notice. The coaching staff at Auburn High School has seen the difference in their stud lineman in just two weeks.

"Jamichael is down 6 pounds to 332," says Head Coach Tim Carter. "He even did his own cardio during spring break. It seems like Jamichael's work is spreading to others on team. Jamichael is a great kid and a great football player"

Payne and his Tiger teammates are in the middle of their offseason program. The Tigers will have their annual spring practice sessions in May. After going 13-1, the program will continue to have high expectations. The Tigers just graduated a fantastic senior class. But rising Seniors Payne, Lamichael Fanning, Jason Webb, Desmond Purter and others appear ready to carry the load in 2010.

"Last season taught us what it takes to play in the big games", says Payne. "I think that will help us a lot this season."

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