Mizzou at top of Texas athlete's list

One Texas high school prospect has seen a lot of action in his recruitment in the last three weeks. A little over a month ago Klein Forest standout athlete Damien Payne had no official offer, that isn't the case anymore. Now he has an offer from Missouri, where does the Tigers stack up on Payne's list of favorites? Go inside this free story for all the answers.

One Texas high school prospect has seen a lot of action in his recruitment in the last three weeks.

A little over a month ago Klein Forest standout athlete Damien Payne had no official offer, that isn't the case anymore.

Payne confirmed Sunday evening with InsideMizzou.com that he indeed is holding an offer and interest from the University of Missouri, Kansas and Vanderbilt.

"Kansas was my first offer then Missouri offered a couple of weeks ago," Payne said. "Vanderbilt offered this past week. It's been an excited month."

College football is no stranger to the Payne family, Damien's older brother Kendrick is a red shirt sophomore at Cal.

Payne, a 6-foot-0, 187-pound strong safety who runs a 4.4 forty, finished his junior season with 50 tackles and eight interceptions. He also scored on a 68 yard punt return; he finished the year with over 400 yards in special team returns.

Does Payne have interest in Mizzou?

"I have a lot of interest in Missouri," Payne said. "In fact they are one of my top schools."

One thing that Payne likes about the Missouri program is that Gary Pinkel has proven over the years he will allow freshmen to play early if they are good enough.

"Maclin came in and played as a true freshman," Payne said. "I want to come in and contribute on the field somewhere. Whether it's on defense or special teams returning punts and kick offs."

Payne also is a standout student in the classroom; he currently holds a 3.5 G.P.A. and is currently taking senior classes so he can graduate early this upcoming December.

"That's my plan right now is to graduate early and enroll at the school of my choice," Payne said. "Academics are important to me; Missouri has a great reputation in that area."

Missouri Coach Brian Jones has apparently made a great impression on Payne.

"I email Coach Jones a lot," Payne said. "We have been keeping in touch, I have been checking on how spring practice is going for them."

Payne wanted to attend the Tigers spring game but will be unable to attend; he did give Coach Jones some good news.

"I told Coach Jones that Missouri is my first official visit in the fall," Payne said. "I'm sure I will take a visit there."

Is Payne close to making a commitment to the Tigers?

"Right now I'm focusing on my grades," Payne said. "There is enough time to do that later. Missouri is definitely at the top of my list."


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