Waco Combine: Phillip Payne Q&A

WACO, Texas -- Garland junior wide receiver Phillip Payne talks about his commitment to the Longhorns, the possibility of taking official visits to schools other than Texas this fall and offers his insight on the recruitment of quarterback Sherrod Harris during an exclusive interview with Inside Texas on Sunday at the combine at Baylor University.

Inside Texas: How would describe your commitment to Texas?

Payne: It’s real good. I’m solid right now. I’m excited about going to Texas.

Inside Texas: What made you decide on Texas?

Payne: The atmosphere. The family vibe. When I went down there, it just felt like home. The players were fun. Everybody was just cool. Them winning the Rose Bowl was big too, because I think they’ve got a lot of potential. They’re a championship team.

Inside Texas: Any chance you won’t sign with Texas in February?

Payne: No.

Inside Texas: Are other schools still recruiting you?

Payne: Yes. OU, A&M, Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech are still calling.

Inside Texas: Of those schools, which is recruiting you the hardest?

Payne: Oklahoma State.

Inside Texas: What are the Oklahoma State coaches telling you?

Payne: That they want me to start my freshman year. Basically, they say I could play early.

Inside Texas: In addition to Texas, will you be taking any other official visits this fall?

Payne: I’m thinking about taking more visits.

Inside Texas: Why?

Payne: (Laughing)…Because it’s free.

Inside Texas: What schools might you officially visit?

Payne: Probably Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech.

Inside Texas: How do you think the Texas coaching staff would feel about you taking official visits to other schools?

Payne: They probably don’t want me to do it, but I want to have some fun…(laughing).

Inside Texas: What are your expectations as a true freshman at Texas?

Payne: To go in and compete for my spot. Whether I redshirt or not is up to me.

Inside Texas: What is your height and weight?

Payne: 6-foot-1 and 188 pounds.

Inside Texas: What were your statistics last season?

Payne: I had 21 catches for like 600 yards and rushing yards I had about 355 yards. I had three receiving touchdowns and had nine touchdowns rushing.

Inside Texas: What are your strengths as a football player?

Payne: My physicalness. I’m very physical. I’m more physical than most wide receivers are. Playing running back in high school gives me the edge, because not many receivers are willing to run over a linebacker or a safety.

Inside Texas: In what areas do you need improvement?

Payne: I say routes. I need to make my routes crisper. I want to be more smooth.

Inside Texas: Who are you comparable to as a football player?

Payne: Mike Williams, because I’m big.

Inside Texas: What are your plans for this summer?

Payne: I’m going to the UT camp on June 5th and participating in 7-on-7.

Inside Texas: What is your qualifying status?

Payne: I’m sitting with a 2.5 GPA right now. I haven’t got my SAT score yet. I took it May 6 and should be getting the results soon. I felt like I did pretty well on it.

Inside Texas: Do you anticipate having any problems with qualifying?

Payne: No, I’ll be fine.

Inside Texas: What members of the Texas coaching staff do you talk with?

Payne: Coach Kennedy.

Inside Texas: How often do you talk?

Payne: About once a week.

Inside Texas: What do the two of you talk about?

Payne: Getting more people to go to Texas, people that we’re looking at right now and how I’m doing.

Inside Texas: What other recruits would you like to see come to Texas?

Payne: Sherrod Harris. Jared Norton. Del Howard.

Inside Texas: Of those recruits, who do you talk to the most?

Payne: Sherrod. We talk every time we’re at something like this (’s combine). We just talk about him coming to Texas.

Inside Texas: Do you eventually think that will happen?

Payne: Oh yeah, he’s coming.

Inside Texas: What are your thoughts on Coach Brown?

Payne: Our relationship is good. He’s just a real nice person.

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