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Alabama’s New 5-Star DT is 300 Pounds of Brute Force
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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

RELATED: Alabama?s New 4-Star DB is Shaun Alexander?s Cousin

Rated as the No. 7 defensive tackle in America and 24th overall prospect by the 247Sports Composite, Payne fielded more than two dozen offers from around the country.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

MORE: Alabama?s New 4-Star LB Could Anchor Nick Saban?s Defense For Years

Author placeholder image About the author:
Matt is a recent graduate of New York University with a degree in Sports Management. He is a passionate New York Yankees, New York Islanders, and Minnesota Vikings fan. He also has a podcast about minor league baseball called "On the Farm."
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John Duffley About the author:
John joins the FanBuzz team with five years of experience freelancing as a sports writer for TheDupes.net and Football.com. A graduate of Penn State University, John currently lives and works in Austin, Texas. He is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
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