- Name: Jared Payne
- Classification: 2019
- Position: Catcher
- Ht: Wt: 5-foot-10, 170
- Bats-Throws: R-R
- High School: Red Land (PA) High School
- Travel Team: Banditos Elite
- Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State. Also had interest from LSU, Louisville, Kentucky, Baylor, Virginia and Florida State
"I committed yesterday," said Payne. "I committed to (assistant) Coach (Will) Coggin and (pitching) Coach (Wes) Johnson and I called Coach Cohen earlier today. We were walking outside and I told them that I wanted to play baseball for Mississippi State. They went crazy. Everybody was going nuts. And I was in awe of how much they wanted me and how much I wanted to go to Mississippi State and play baseball."
Yesterday's visit was his second trip to Mississippi State.
"I have visited Mississippi State twice, and I just fell in love with it," said Payne. "I came to watch a game my first visit to Mississippi State and the atmosphere was amazing. It was when they played Texas A&M and had 15,000 at the game. I thought to myself there is no way there is any other atmosphere that I would want to play in. When I visited a second time I was still amazed. All of the coaches are amazing. I know I will be welcomed with an open heart because of how nice the coaching staff is. I wouldn't want to play for anyone else."
He was particularly impressed with head coach John Cohen.
"Coach Cohen is amazing," said Payne. "That was a big part of why I committed. I honestly think that he is the best coach in college baseball. I wouldn't want to play for anyone else."
Mississippi State was one of several schools recruiting the talented youngster.
"I have been talking to Kentucky and Louisville, and I know there are a lot more like LSU and Baylor (that was interested in me)," said Payne. "I visited two other (schools) but Mississippi State was where I wanted to go in the beginning. So I didn't really pursue any other schools as much as I did Mississippi State."
What Mississippi State is getting in Payne is a great defensive catcher with a 1.9 pop time and a line drive hitter who hits in the 3 and 4 spot in the lineup for his summer travel team the Banditos.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network.