Belleville High School defensive lineman Damon Payne is everything you want in a disruptive, defensive force. Measured at 6-foot-4 and nearly 300 pounds, it's no surprise that every powerhouse in college football pulled out all the stops to get their hands on this five-star stud.
Look no further than Payne's very first scholarship offer; It came from the SEC's Kentucky Wildcats when Payne was still in the eighth grade.
Payne is ready to make a mark with the Alabama Crimson Tide, and he's yet another All-American defensive lineman to add to head coach Nick Saban's run of greatness in Tuscaloosa.
DT Damon Payne Commits to Alabama
— Dame (@DamonPayne2021) July 26, 2020
Arizona State, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Tennessee, USC, and Vanderbilt all tried to nab the DT.
In the end, the No. 1 player from the state of Michigan joined Bama's incredible 2021 football recruiting class.
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) December 16, 2020
Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines were thought to have a hometown advantage in the sweepstakes, but the Big Ten team came up empty-handed.
Alabama's sustained success comes from its ability to make a connection with prospects. The school's NFL pipeline is tried and true, and Payne will become the latest player to have scouts watching every single one of his games.
Damon Payne Highlights
Damon Payne's quickness stands out on his tape. He was a two-way player for Belleville, but his calling is on the defensive line.
In 2019, Payne recorded 59 tackles and eight sacks, proving his worth to head coach Jermain Crowell. As Payne heads off to the NCAA, he will do it knowing that he is going from one great program to another.
Alabama football fans have their hopes set on yet another CFP title, and players like Damon Payne will help them get there quickly.
This post was originally published on July 10, 2020 before updating.
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