Rivals250 defensive back Lamont Payne doesn’t have the long offer sheet some expect from a highly rated prospect but he has the skill set to compete with any receiver in the nation. The Bridgeville (Pa.) Chartiers Valley star has taken a number of visits over the last couple months but he ended up choosing to stay close to home and attend Penn State.
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
WHAT THE NITTANY LIONS ARE GETTING…
Payne is a physical defensive back with good instincts and the length to give receivers and quarterbacks problems. In the camp and 7-on-7 setting, Payne has shown crisp footwork and a solid understanding of coverage schemes. He’s had plenty of success playing press coverage and using his speed and footwork to keep the receiver from getting separation. Payne is also very good at playing off the ball and breaking on passes thrown in front of him, using his long arms to knock passes down or grab interceptions. He has a lean frame that can hold more solid mass but it’s his size and speed combination that makes him a tough matchup for big and small receivers.
WHY IT’S BIG FOR PENN STATE…
The Nittany Lions have a top two recruiting class in the 2022 cycle and they’re off to a great starting in the 2023 class. With top 60 offensive lineman Alex Birchmeier already in the fold, Payne gives Penn State two Rivals250 commits in the class. The 2023 class in western Pennsylvania is loaded with talent and Payne is very close with top targets like Ta’mere Robinson, Rodney Gallagher, and others. Penn State is going to continue to stockpile talented defensive backs and Payne will be a great fit in their scheme. Cornerbacks coach Terry Smith has deep roots in the Pittsburgh area and those relationships helped get Payne on board early in the 2023 recruiting cycle.