SacFalcFan Posted February 25, 2008 Share Posted February 25, 2008 LOL.. Columbia (S.C.) safety Chris Payne surprised many South Carolina fans when he and teammate Damario Jeffery committed to Clemson after attending their junior day on Saturday. Although the Tigers are currently the team to beat, Payne is keeping an open mind and still considers the Gamecocks in the mix for his services."Me and Demario committed to Clemson this weekend, but we're open," Payne said. "We're still open-minded. Their academic facilities and everything around them and how it's a small town and you could stay out of trouble (influenced me)."I know I could stay out of trouble by myself, but you could really get away from trouble (at Clemson). They (coaches) were just telling us that they have people leaving, and we could play for a starting position."South Carolina recruiting coordinator and quarterbacks coach David Reaves was perhaps the most surprised of all when he heard the news, and he met with Payne this morning to discuss his decision."He (Coach Reaves) said how he couldn't sleep last night," said Payne. "I really sat down and listened to what he was saying. He asked why we committed to them (Clemson) so early and stuff like that. I think we just got so wowed about the whole situation (at Clemson) that we committed, and that's what I think happened."The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Payne also caught his family off guard with his commitment."They said it was good, but then again they said that I should have waited because they know I love South Carolina," he said.According to Payne, three factors will determine where South Carolina will finish in the race for his signature come signing day 2009."Put it this way, I'm not even talking about other schools," he said. "I'm talking about South Carolina. For South Carolina to have me, this is what I'm saying: the academics, the coaches have to be cool, and they've got to beat Georgia."Payne offered his current assessment of those three issues."Academics, they're progressing," he said. "That's the only downfall I had about them, the academic facilities and stuff. "Now, I see they're really on top of it. They're building a $20 million facility. That says it all. I'm looking to major in business, and South Carolina's got one of the top business schools.""Coaches, they've always been cool with me," he said. "They've been loving me since I was in ninth grade. I've been coming to their games. I just love Carolina. It was just a rushing decision (committing to Clemson).""Beating Georgia, it shows me that they can really compete," Payne said. "Georgia is supposed to be ranked No. 2 in the nation, probably No. 1. If they beat them then they're going to have momentum to beat another couple of teams. I really think they're going to have a good season, and that's going to be a big factor."With nearly a year to go until signing day '09, Payne plans to evaluate his recent decision more closely."My true feeling is that I'm still open," he said. "I'm committed to Clemson as of right now. I like everything about South Carolina. Now that I'm seeing they're really about to get this (academic) facility and that they've really put their time into doing it, I'm really liking what they're doing." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.