CB Ernest Payton 6'3" 200 4.4 College Station (TX) A&M Consolidated
Ernest Payton is a very high-caliber athlete, whom the Missouri staff uncovered fairly late in the recruiting process. Payton and his family, including his parents, Alfred and Rosalyn Payton, are originally from Galveston, Texas. They were displaced in the fall of 2008 due to Hurricane Ike, and Ernest moved to the Bryan-College Station area to live with his sister, who was a teacher there at the time.
A&M Consolidated Head Coach, Jim Slaughter, helped Payton, who was voted by his classmates as the funniest person in school, to fit in to his new surroundings. After a junior season in which his team reached the state playoffs, Payton really blossomed as a senior. Payton was named the team's defensive back of the year, as a senior, after helping his school reach the third round of the state playoffs, the deepest run into the playoffs for the school in a long time. As a senior, Payton recorded 85 tackles, including 5 tackles for loss, and forced 3 fumbles. He also had 4 interceptions, and 12 pass break ups, for the season, and was recognized for his play by being named 2nd-Team All-State.
The Missouri staff knew about Payton, and followed him for a little while before they offered him. Payton chose Missouri over TCU and Texas A&M, among others.
Payton, who enjoys playing video games, watching television, and playing basketball, is interested in studying construction management at Missouri.
"Payton is an exceptional talent," said Coach David Yost. "He was really a guy on video, and he kind of flew under the radar..................... He's got some work to do academically. He's a real quality kid, a good kid. He played corner this year. He could play safety, because he'll really hit you, and he might grow into a linebacker. But, he can run, and he'll hit you, and he's real physical, so we'll find a place for him to play."
"Ernest (Payton) is a big kid," said Coach Brian Jones, who was the primary recruiter for Ernest Payton. "He played both football and basketball. Exactly where he's going to wind up, we're not sure........................... He plays corner back. He's got a lot of weight gain potential. He's a very good athlete."
JP's Take – Ernest Payton is a real sleeper in the Tigers 2011 class. He is a very athletic,very physical football player with tremendous speed. He looks like he has the goods to play cornerback and was compared to former Steeler legend Mel Blount by a Baylor assistant coach. Ernest likes the one on one aspect of playing cornerback and likes to jam his man at the line and the physical part of playing press. He has a good back-pedal and the agility and quickness to change direction and break on pass plays. Ernest has good hands and ball skills. He is also able to read run plays, shed blocks and make aggressive stops against the run. He has the speed to cover receivers and run down plays across the field. Also a good special teams player. I like him at cornerback with his size and the fact that you are seeing bigger receivers become the norm. However, he could play safety or become a very versatile linebacker that can cover on passing downs. You have to love his aggressiveness.
Greg's Take - Payton might be the steal of this recruiting cycle. Not only was he relatively unknown due to relocation, but he was also listed by several scouting services as a 2012 recruit. He's a great athlete, with a tremendous combination of size and speed. He's very good in coverage, and has the speed to run with receivers, but he will also come up and aggressively, and physically, play the run. He wants to play corner, and that's probably where he'll start out, but he's definitely physical enough to play safety, and could easily grow into an outside linebacker.
Ernest Payton Senior Season Highlights