Tigers no more

The Columbia High School duo of Chris Payne and DaMario Jeffery made headlines over the weekend when they made a surprise commitment to Clemson at the Tigers' junior day. However, less than forty-eight hours later the highly touted Palmetto State tandem officially decided to back off their pledges to the Tigers. Read inside as GamecockAnthem.com reports the latest.


GamecockAnthem.com caught up with Chris Payne on Monday night, and he confirmed that he and Jeffery have both informed Clemson of their plans to re-open their recruitment. According to Payne, he and Jeffery simply got caught up in the moment and made a rushed decision on Saturday.

"We've de-committed from Clemson. I know that I'm a Carolina man, and I should have just weighed my options," said Payne. "We should have never committed. We just got caught up in the moment."

Payne openly favored the Gamecocks last Friday before visiting Clemson's junior day on Saturday, and he said that South Carolina has once again returned to the top of his list now that all of the dust has settled.

"South Carolina is my favorite," he said. "I really love everything about them. Their new academic center is going to be really nice, and it's going to help me out because I really want to graduate. I want to major in business, and they're probably the number one business school in the nation. I love that about them."

While the Gamecocks have emerged as the frontrunner for Payne's services, the hard-hitting safety said that he and Jeffery plan to take their time before coming to another decision.

"I'd say we'll probably wait until Signing Day."

When the time does come to make a final decision, Payne knows what factors he'll be looking for.

"I'm looking for good academics, a great coaching staff and a team that's ready to win an SEC Championship because I'd like to stay in the SEC."

Payne and Jeffery plan to visit Auburn this weekend and will trip to Alabama on March 7th. Payne plans to attend the South Carolina-LSU basketball game on Wednesday and will return to USC next Monday when the football players get timed in the forty yard dash.


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