Omar Payne did not need long in the NCAA transfer portal to find his new home. On Saturday morning, Payne announced he will continue his career at Illinois.

A former top-45 power forward/center recruit in the class of 2019, Payne departs Mike White’s program after two seasons in Gainesville. Payne played in 54 games (15 starts) over the past two seasons, averaging 3.8 points and 3.4 rebounds over 15.4 minutes per game.

Payne played 11 minutes and scored 4 points in Florida’s NCAA Tournament loss to Oral Roberts. White sat Payne for UF’s First Round win over Virginia Tech after his actions in the SEC Tournament. Payne elbowed Tennessee’s John Fulkerson twice, drawing a flagrant foul and an ejection from the game. The second elbow hit Fulkerson hard in the head. After receiving medical attention on the floor, Fulkerson left the game and was taken to the hospital. Fulkerson suffered a facial fracture and black eye. Fulkerson did not play again during UT’s 2020-21 campaign.

Payne tweeted a note apologizing and saying he reached out to Fulkerson directly, which Fulkerson acknowledged in his own tweet.