An athlete stepping straight into the all-name team of defensive players, Damon Payne announced his commitment to Alabama over the weekend.
By Steve Wright
Payne is no ordinary recruit – not least because of that football perfect name – as he is the No. 14 ranked overall player in the entire class of 2021 per the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
He is the No. 1 DT in the class and he is the No. 1 ranked player in the state of Michigan.
The pledge of Payne is a huge win for Alabama as the 5-star beast out of Belleville, Michigan is viewed as one of the jewels of the entire class. He picked Alabama over four other finalists – Kentucky, Arizona State, USC, and Michigan State – and his commitment means that Alabama has moved to the No. 1 ranking in terms of SEC classes for 2021 with Payne giving them their 16th pledge for the year.
Damon Payne Scouting Report
Payne is a massive body. He is somewhere in the region of 290-295 pounds and stands every inch of 6-foot-3. He has a 5.47 second 40-yard dash the last time he was tested and has a crazy 28.9 inch vertical for someone of his bulk, suggesting that Payne is all explosion and power.
Last season, the junior made 59 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, and had eight sacks. Those are the stats of a DT who is basically unblockable when he decides to be. His highlight video showcases Payne’s first-step quickness, with the initial play resulting in a sack before the QB has even completed his drop in the pocket. Damon Payne has a nose for the ball and disruption, using his hands, his leverage, and his power to swim past or run over offensive linemen depending on the play. It is this ability to be both a power and a speed disruptor that makes Payne so unique and valuable, and he will likely be yet another high round draft pick from Nick Saban’s program in the future.