Making that big college verbal commitment tends to take the pressure off of things for many prospects, especially when you're as highly regarded as South Garland (Texas) High School wide receiver Phillip Payne who made his early verbal commitment to Texas in March.
Now, things are all directed towards his big senior season and making sure that not only does he help his teammates on the field but off as well with such things as recruiting advice. The four-star, No. 19 rated player in the state of Texas, explained that after committing to the Longhorns things have been much easier.
"Oh man I'm ready," Payne said. "We've had this summer camp here at school from June to late July and we've been up here everyday working out and getting stronger."
"I'm glad it I got this process done early so all I have to do is focus on school and graduating."
Teams like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Texas A&M, and many other programs made their push for the Rivals250 selection Payne before and even after he had pledged his commitment.
Payne said it's died down considerably and the few schools that haven't yet given up get a pretty stern statement from the 6-foot-2, 201-pound receiver.
"I'm committed, I'm solid, I'm ready," Payne said. "It's also kind of awkward at the same time telling a college coach he has no chance. It's less hectic though than when I first committed. Like, Oklahoma came on right after I made the decision."
Now that his recruiting process is in the books and firm for Texas, he has been helping his teammates Del Howard and Derron Montgomery go about their own cycles.
Both players have rising interest, like Payne did, and he is there to give some pieces of advice.
"Those guys are just going to wait their stuff out," Payne said. "I'm just really glad other people on my team are getting offers because it's not all Phillip Payne. We have great players on our team."
"I say to them to stay focused and check the rosters for playing time. Sometimes it is just how prestigious a program is. You pretty much know where you want to go with that first visit. That's how I was with Texas."
The other thing that he has always followed is a mentality where he stands by his word
"The one thing I told my teammates is, when you make your decision, don't play around with it," Payne said. "That's it, you're done because it's a commitment."
Along with helping with recruiting attention for the South Garland targets, he is also looking to be a big leader on the field towards what looks to be a big senior season.
"My goals are to make my teammates better and be better individually as well because it's all about winning for us now," Payne said. "To be honest, I'm ready to get back in school too to get working hard on class again."