Ole Miss hosted Nashville, Tenn., wide receiver Javonta Payton for an official visit over the weekend

Ole Miss hosted Nashville, Tenn., wide receiver Javonta Payton for an official visit over the weekend. His father, McKinley Young, details the trip, as well as what comes next for his son.

On the visit: “It’s our first time here. It’s beautiful, the whole campus. It’s the first time I’ve been to a school that has the hotel on campus. That was kind of interesting. Everything’s been amazing. We got a chance to really sit down and get to know the coaches, and they got a chance to get to know Javonta.”

On what Payton was looking for on the visit: “The most important thing, really, is about the education and how he fits here — if it’s a fit for him. Being a coach myself, definitely look at the playing style and making sure it’s something that fits his skill-set. You never want your kids or any of your players to go some place where it’s not really fitting them very well. It wouldn’t be a great situation for them. But just want to make sure the educational part of it has his major, how he feels with the coaches and how he fits around the players. But the all-around important thing is if he feels comfortable here.”

On how Ole Miss fits Payton schematically: “I believe it fits his skill-set really well. Javonta’s only been playing receiver for a year and a half. He’s always been a running back. Junior year we decided to move him to wide receiver so we could get our best playmakers on the field. He’s still kind of growing into the position and learning, but he does so many things naturally that a lot of great receivers do. He keeps working at it. His hips, the way he can drive, his speed to get on top of the defense, it definitely would be a great offense for him. He can play inside or outside, so it makes him a little more versatile.”

On if Ole Miss’ lack of wide receiver commitments is a factor: “I think it is. He looks at the whole team thing. The one thing Tay loves to do now is block because, I guess, as a running back, we used to go through the drills of run, run, block. He gets out there and blocks because he knows if his teammates make plays, it’s easier for him to make plays. One thing about it is them not really having any wide receivers (committed), he knows it is an opportunity for him to come in and compete and possibly get some playing time early.”

Payton will next visit MTSU and Purdue. He’s now taken officials to Tennessee and Ole Miss.

On Payton’s Tennessee visit: “Tennessee is kind of the same thing. The atmosphere, the stadium, the campus was beautiful. Had a real good rapport with the coaches. We got to sit down and break things down, and we got to sit down with the academic counselors and they kind of broke down how a particular day would go for him. Overall, this whole process, it’s been long, but we’re grateful. We appreciate everything each institution has done for us.”

On what they like about all the schools: “Right now, I think it’s the coaching staff. Different places you feel different ways about different things. Each coaching staff we’ve met, there’s been something a little different that makes you feel comfortable to know if my son comes here I won’t have to worry about it because he has men and a lot of different counselors and things like that that are going to make sure he gets his education, but two, he’s going to become the best player he can be.”

On what Payton likes most about Ole Miss: “One thing that’s different from a lot of other staffs is how committed they are about their faith, how open with it. A lot of staffs are faith-based, but here at Ole Miss, you can just tell it’s something that they drill. Being a Christian myself, that’s something I like because it helps you develop as a man. Even though you may be one type of faith, the overall goal is they’re trying to give you something else that if times get tough, you can always depend on your faith or faith within your teammates or your academic counselors or stuff like that. There’s always going to be a time you’re going to have to find something in yourself.”

On what Payton’s decision will ultimately come down to: “I think it really comes down to where he feels the most comfortable, where he kind of bonded with the players, bonded with the coaches. The academic part is just wherever Javonta feels comfortable. We’re going to back him 100 percent.”

On if any staffs have pushed Payton for a commitment: “No, sir. They wanted him to go ahead and take his visits, enjoy the process and enjoy everything. At the end of the day when he sits down to make that decision, whatever’s best for them, they’re going to be excited and happy for him.”


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