Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Payton ends up picking Washington
By Sean Ceglinsky
Wide receiver Jordan Payton from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian committed to Washington on Tuesday, making his choice known during a live announcement on ESPNU.
Among the many others thought to be in the running for a pledge from the senior were Cal and UCLA.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder initially committed to USC. Payton changed his mind recently and appeared heading to Cal. In the end, however, the Huskies proved to be the best fit for Payton, considered one of the Southland's premier players.
“I like everything about Washington, I had a visit, it went well and I think I can go there and play right away if I do what the coaches tell me,'' Payton said. “I wanted to make my college pick today and have a clear mind about the future."
Payton had scholarship offers on the table from some of the country's powerhouse programs. Florida, Notre Dame, Michigan and Oklahoma had courted him for quite some time. Arkansas and Penn State were believed to be players at one point as well.
“Jordan is the type of player that is going to make an immediate impact once he reaches the next level,'' Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell said. “He was able to do plenty of special things for us here. We're talking about a kid with a bright future ahead of him.''
Staying close to home and playing in the Pac-12 Conference proved to be too good of an opportunity to pass up, apparently. Payton will have the chance to make things official on Wednesday morning during national signing day.
“There was a lot of indecision at first. It was hard for me to choose a school. I learned plenty of things along the way though,'' Payton said. “The whole recruiting process has been crazy. It's not one of those things for everybody. Only a few select people go through some of the things I did. Bottom line is, I'm a Husky. I couldn't be more happy.''
Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.