Commit Phillip Payne: 'I'm firm in my decision'

WR Phillip Payne became the 11th verbal commitment for the Longhorn Recruiting Class of 2006 back on March 23rd. The South Garland recently updated Inside Texas about his recruitment, including a couple of new offers, and how those offers have affected his feelings about Texas.

Phillip Payne is a dual-threat player who has spent time at both wideout and running back for South Garland. "I'm a physical player," he said. "That's the best way to describe me." Last season, Payne totaled 17 receptions for 306 yards and 3 TDs. On the ground he added 367 yards and 9 TDs.

Payne (6-1.5, 189, 4.55) was recruited by Texas Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Kennedy. "Coach Kennedy recruited me to Texas," he said. "Coach Kennedy is just an all-around great person. He has a great sense of humor." Phillip also offered a few comments about Head Coach Mack Brown. "Coach Brown is really straightforward. He doesn't beat around the bush. I really like him a lot as well."

Phillip attended one of UT's Junior Days and came away very impressed. "I love the people in Austin," he said. "It really feels like home. I really like the campus. Everyone was cool and the size of the campus really impressed me."

Payne didn't receive his offer at the UT Junior Day, but rather while attending a Junior Day in Stillwater. "Coach Kennedy called and offered me while I was at Oklahoma State's Junior Day," he said. "After I returned, I called the following Tuesday and told Coach Kennedy I'm ready to commit to Texas." How did Coach Kennedy react? [Laughing] "He was just as happy as I was and said I made his day."

Since his commitment to Texas, Payne has received two more offers from Big 12 programs. "Oklahoma and Baylor have offered me since I committed to Texas," he told IT.

Have the additional offers changed the strength of his pledge? "I'm a solid verbal to Texas," Payne said. "Schools like Oklahoma and OSU still call me and say they have a home for me, but I tell them that I'm firm in my decision. I'm not changing my mind." Payne went on to say that he hasn't given much thought to whether Texas will be his only official visit or not, but said he will decide soon.

"I have no plans for any camps this summer," he added. "I was going to attend a Texas A&M or Oklahoma State camp, but that all changed when I committed to Texas."

Before deciding on the Horns in March, the South Garland standout had earned offers from some other major conference programs. The list included Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State and Kansas.

Payne has laid out a few goals for this upcoming season. "I just simply want to get better and make my teammates better," he said. "I'd like to work on my route running."

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