D'Andre Payne is one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation. The cornerback from Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy sports dozens of offers, but on Tuesay announced today that he has narrowed his list to 10.
"In no order, my top 10 schools are Florida State, Tennessee, Ohio State, Virginia, Maryland, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Stanford and Michigan," said the 5-foot-9, 172-pound Payne.
"I've pretty much had my eye on these schools before I even had offers and then when they offered me it really got my attention."
The Rivals250 cornerback broke down each and explained why they made his list.
Florida State: "When I took my visit down there I really enjoyed it," he said. "I was there for two days and got to see the game against Florida. Even though they lost I still enjoyed my time there. I met Coach (Jimbo) Fisher and sat down the Coach Haggins. I also talked to a lot of other people down and really liked them. I talked to Ronald Darby and he was telling about everything down there."
Tennessee: "Coach Thigpen was recruiting me when he was at Auburn," Payne said. "I've talked to him about his move to Tennessee and I like it because I have family in Tennessee also. The Volunteers have a lot of good tradition and I think the new coaching staff is going to do some good things."
Ohio State: "I really like Coach (Urban) Meyer and Coach Zach Smith," he said. "I've been talking to Coach Smith since he was at Temple. I have a really good relationship with him. When I went there I had a really good time even though I was only there for a day."
Virginia: "Coach Chip West and Coach Poindexter are recruiting me," said Payne. "Coach West is the defensive back coach there and I've down there a bunch of times. Him and my dad went to college together. Coach (Mike) London is doing some good things. They had a tough year last year but they brought in some good young guys in Taquan Mizzell and recently Quin Blanding."
Maryland: "Coach Mike Locksley is a really good dude," he said. "He's one of the guys that's recruiting me really hard and I've been talking to him for a long time. I really like Coach (Randy) Edsall and Coach Stewart. I went to a practice a few weeks ago and I like what they're doing. I got to sit down in the classroom with him and go over coverages at their junior day. There are a bunch of guys at Friendship Collegiate Academy that are trying to recruit me to Maryland. Derwin Gray, Yannick Ngakoue, Jermaine Carter and Cavon walker are working really hard to get me there."
Clemson: "Coach (Brent) Venables and the staff offered me about a month ago," Payne said. "My coach and I have been talking about how they like to play their young guys early. That's one of the schools that I've always liked since I started playing and watching football. I haven't visited there yet but I'm looking forward to getting down there this spring."
Georgia Tech: "They're a sleeper school for me," he said. "I tried to contact Coach Speed down there but I haven't been able to yet. I was talking to Coach Al Groh but he's not there anymore. I want to get down there as well."
Vanderbilt: "I talked to Coach (George) Barlow about two weeks ago. They really want me to come down and visit. I know they have really good academics. I like that they play young guys and they're in the SEC."
Stanford: "They offered me last week," he said. "I've been talking to Coach Derek Mason and Coach David Kotulski and they are the ones that are recruiting me. They play young guys early as well and it's an awesome academic school. They've have been telling me what it's like out in California and hopefully I can take a visit out there during the summer"
Michigan: "When I took my visit, I really enjoyed watching Coach (Curt) Mallory in action," Payne said. "He was coaching me at the camp and we walked around all of the facilities, the weight room, the practice fields and everything. I really enjoyed my time there and I am going to visit again this spring."
With so many offers to choose from, it was a very tough choice for Payne.
"I'm going to still keep in touch with all the schools. I actually just got off the phone with Coach (Aaron) Moorehead from Virginia Tech, but those are the schools that are sticking out to me right now."
From the way things sound, Payne is in the process of planning a busy offseason.
"I'm hoping to visit all the schools in the spring and summer. I'm going to Tennessee this weekend but I haven't scheduled any other visits yet. My dad and I are talking and we're going to figure out when the other junior days are and when they want me to come down."
Payne said he will probably cut his list down to five during or after the football season and make his decision on signing day.
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