football

Payton flips to Pac-12 rival

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Jordan Payton had been committed to USC early in the recruiting process, then he switched his pledge over to Cal but after assistant coaches Tosh Lupoi and Eric Kiesau left for Washington the four-star receiver reconsidered things again.
The Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian four-star took his final official visit to Washington and said Tuesday that he fell in love with the place and made his commitment to the Huskies.
UCLA received an unofficial visit this past weekend and there were some rumors the Bruins were going to land Payton - his teammate Ishmael Adams is committed to UCLA - but Washington won out for Payton's services.
"For the next four years I'll be going to the University of Washington," Payton said on ESPN.
"What was crazy was I never looked at Washington before. When (Lupoi and Kiesau) left to go up to Washington I took my last official up there and I fell in love with everything. It was a tremendous experience to go up there and I decided to spend the next three to four years at the University of Washington."
Losing Payton is another big hit for Cal's recruiting class which has already lost five-star defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy to UCLA and five-star safety Shaq Thompson to Washington as well.
Other players including four-star recruits Cedric Dozier and Bryce Treggs and three-star Kenneth Walker are also making announcements Tuesday and Wednesday about their future destinations. They could stick with Cal or flip to another school.
For Payton, Washington offered three main things he felt comfortable with and what helped make his decision for the Huskies easier.
"The first thing was the players and how they interacted with the coaches," Payton said.
"That was extremely big for me to see the relationship they all had with each other.
"The fan base, they're a great group of fans up there, they love Washington football and the third one was the academics. I never knew how strong they were. When I got up there and they showed me the alumni and how strong they are compared to the other schools I just fell in love with it."
Rivals.com rates Payton as the No. 15 wide receiver and No. 93 prospect in the 2012 class. He's No. 16 in the California state rankings.
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