D'Andre Payne commits to Tennessee: Vols land 4-star cornerback

Grant Halverson

Tennessee lands a star corner commitment.

D'Andre Payne, a top recruit, committed to Tennessee Wednesday morning. Payne stars at cornerback for the Washington (D.C.) Friendship Academy. Payne is a consensus four-star recruit, and is considered one of the best 20 corners nationally at this early juncture in the recruiting cycle.

Payne chose Tennessee over offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Cincinnati, Colorado, UConn, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, UNC, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Rutgers, Texas Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin. That's quite the impressive offer list for a 5'9, 170-pound cornerback.

But Payne's film shows why those colleges chose to look beyond his height and extend and offer. Payne's best attributes are his toughness, instincts and quickness. He lacks great length and track speed, but is a productive player nonetheless. Payne may remind some of the Honey Badger of LSU, or of Tony Carter of the Denver Broncos.

Payne decided to commit to Tennessee after visiting Knoxville in March. He is Tennessee's seventh commitment for the class of 2014, and its third consensus four-star or better rated recruit.

Verbal commitments are non-binding and National Signing Day is still 10 months away.

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