Rivals250 cornerback D'Andre Payne ended his recruitment Wednesday, announcing on Twitter that he has chosen to become a Tennessee Volunteer.
The Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy product picked Tennessee over Florida State, Vanderbilt, Maryland, Clemson, Virginia Georgia Tech, Stanford, Michigan and Ohio State.
"When I went to Tennessee, I just fell in love with everything down there," said the 5-foot-9, 172-pound Payne. "The coaching staff, the people, the players and how they get along with each other is just awesome and I've been in love with the school since I was there last in mid-March.
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"Coach Jones is bringing a lot of guys in and I like how they bond with the players on and off the field," he said. "They joke around and everything but when it's time to get serious they get it done.
"I like Coach Martinez, my position coach, he is very aggressive and I like his technique," Payne said. "I really like my recruiting coordinator, Tommy Thigpen, as well. I talked to a lot of the players when I was there and I stayed with one of them so I was pretty much college student for the weekend."
Strangely enough, Payne was on a visit to Vanderbilt Tuesday.
"I wanted to get down to Vanderbilt because I was really interested in them," he said. "I want to see how it was and I really enjoyed it. Coach Franklin is really doing some good things down there."
For months it seemed as though Florida State had the edge for Payne.
"I was really leaning towards Florida State at first but after I took a visit I wasn't able to talk to them as much," Payne said. "I'm not sure if they lost interest in me or something but I couldn't get in touch with them as much to form a better relationship with the staff. It just wasn't clicking."
Now that Payne is shutting down his recruitment and only focusing on the Volunteers, he can focus on the rest of his offseason.
"I'm going to get ready for the season," he said. "I'm going to the Rivals camp in Richmond and I'm just going to keep working."
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