Junior to Watch: Jeremy Payton
School: West Covina (Calif.) South Hills
Position: Cornerback/Wide Receiver
Size and Speed: Payton stands 6-foot-2, weighs 180 pounds and has been timed electronically in the 40 in 4.5. His bench is 235 pounds and he has recorded a vertical jump of 33-inches.
Honors: Payton was selected all-state (underclassman), all-area and all-league for his junior season performance.
Statistics: Payton’s stats were almost identical to his twin brother Bryan’s stats. Though Jeremy didn’t lead the state in picks like brother Bryan (11 picks), he did rack up 34 tackles and had eight interceptions from his cornerback position in 2002. Jeremy, like his brother, also plays wide receiver. He had 25 receptions for 486 yards for an average of 19.2 yards per catch and six touchdowns. Jeremy had 23 carries for 127 yards on the ground.
Favorite Colleges: More than likely the Payton brothers will go as a package dead and the word is that Oregon and Oregon State are said to be close to offering Payton a scholarship. UCLA, USC, Colorado and Colorado State are also very much in the mix. Payton has relatives in Oregon so there is a lot of interest for the two Oregon schools.
Skinny: Jeremy is the other bookend corner of the famous Payton brothers from South Hills high. Both brothers are very athletic and more than likely will end up at the same college. So some lucky school is going to score largely if they land the Payton brothers.
Athleticism is the calling card this set of brothers.
“To give you an idea on how athletic Jeremy is he never participated in the triple jump before and the track coach asked him to come out and try it,” South Hills head coach Steve Bogan said. “He recorded a 42’6’’ triple jump at his first time he tried it and I think he won the event.”
Payton is a big physical corner who loves to mix it up. “Like Bryan, Jeremy will punch you in the mouth,” Bogan said. “They both can really bring it and like to mix it up.”
“The thing that makes both Bryan and Jeremy standout is the fact they thrive on pressure situations,” Bogan said. “Some kids pray that the play doesn’t go their way in crunch time. Not the Paytons, they want the play to come to them in the pressure cooker. They are tremendous competitors.”
“Bryan and Jeremy are the perfect corners for today game,” Bogan said. “They have good size and speed. They have size and physicality to take on the larger wide receivers in today’s game and they have the speed to run with the faster, quicker smaller receivers.”
The athletic Payton brothers could also help a team on special teams making hits or returning punts and kicks.