Payton Drawing Major College Looks

Beset by a series of injuries, Jay Payton played only two games for Battlefield High School’s (Haymarket, VA) varsity football squad his junior season in 2011. A healthy Payton flourished as a senior at Archbishop Carroll (Washington, D.C.), racking up 120 tackles and earning Archbishop Carroll Co-Defensive MVP honors and third-team all-WCAC honors for his play at outside linebacker/rush end.

“I didn’t face any injuries my senior year,” said Payton, whose full first name is Jacorien but he goes by Jay. “Coach [Rick] Houchens gave me a choice of where I wanted to play. The team was all freshmen and sophomores, so he gave me a leadership role. I played outside linebacker, but then Coach Houchens felt the pass rush wasn’t as good. We ran a 3-4 defense, but he put me at the end and I just got after the quarterback.”

Payton graduated from Carroll in the spring of 2013; however, he did not meet NCAA Clearinghouse standards, so he has enrolled at Atlanta Sports Academy (Atlanta, GA) for postgraduate work. He began classes at ASA on May 27 and plans to be fully qualified by December with an eye towards enrolling in college in January of 2014. With an impressive combination of size (6’2.5″, 235 pounds) and speed (ran a 4.57 in the 40 at ASA’s Spring Combine), Payton has caught the attention of major FBS programs.

Payton visited the University of Virginia this past Wednesday. Up next is a trip to Virginia Tech, which would be the clear frontrunner if an offer comes.