Alabama lands commitment from 5-star prospect, nation's No. 1 defensive tackle
Alabama remains hot on the recruiting trail, picking up commitment No. 7 of the month. The latest pledge to the Crimson Tide comes from 5-star Belleville, Michigan standout Damon Payne, rated the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country on the 247Sports Composite.
Payne made his announcement Sunday afternoon live on CBS Sports HQ. He chose UA over fellow finalists Kentucky, Arizona State, Michigan State and Southern Cal. The Composite’s No. 14 overall recruit in the class of 2021, Payne has collected 27 total scholarship offers. UA assistants Charles Huff and Freddie Roach oversaw the recruitment of Payne to Alabama, per his 247Sports profile. Alabama’s 2021 class, ranked No. 1 in the SEC, is now up to 16 commitments.
In March 2019, Payne participated in a regional edition of “The Opening” competition camp. At the event, Payne checked in at over 6-3, 297 pounds. He registered a 40 time of 5.47 seconds, a 4.59-second shuttle and 28.90-inch vertical. Zack Poff of Max Preps said on CBS Sports HQ that Payne has slimmed down to 290 pounds.
Payne, a two-sport athlete who also competes in shot put and discus, is slated to play in the Under Armour All-America and Polynesian Bowl postseason high school all-star games. Last season, Payne recorded 59 total tackles, including 22 for loss and 8 sacks. Highlights from that season can be viewed below via Hudl: