football

Two-way standout about to hit big time

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Tight end/defensive end Craig Payne (6-5, 275, 4.9) from Ontario (Calif.) Colony opened up many eyes with a standout performance at the NIKE Camp held in Los Angeles, Calif., in April. He brings a lot of ability on both sides of the ball to the table.
"Arizona, Arizona State, USC and Colorado are showing interest," Colony coach Anthony Rice said. "The only question is how he will do grade wise. I know he'll qualify and he does there will be a lot of colleges that will be all over him.
"Craig will play both ways for us this fall," Rice said. "He will play tight end for us on offense and will line up at defensive end. He won't be leaving the field much.
"The reason why Craig is such a good prospect is he has great size," Rice said. "You don't see kids with his size and be as athletic as he is. Once he understands our concepts and figures things out, he's going to be off the charts.
"Let me tell you, Craig is the real deal."
One of the reasons that Payne was flying a little bit under the radar he is returning to play his senior year in California after playing his sophomore and junior seasons in Louisiana.
This talented big man started his high school career at Etiwanda, Calif., high school as a freshman starting on the basketball team and in football before his family moved to Louisiana. Now Louisiana's loss is Colony's gain.
Payne has the versatility you love in a D-I prospect. Though he plays tight end on the high school level, there is a good chance that he could grow into an offensive tackle of defensive tackle when he gets on the college level.
Payne is also solid in the weight room. His current bench is 335 pounds and his squat is 400.
Keep an eye on this one he is about hit big time.
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