While Louisville Football has been building one of the best classes in school history in 2021, they already have their eyes set upon 2022; and their sights are set high. On February 3rd, Louisville offered 4 Star RB Gi’Bran Payne of Cincinnati, OH.
Payne is a highly sought after RB with a very good offer sheet. It’s likely that he will accumulate more offers as it is still early in his recruitment. 247sports has Payne ranked as the 206th best overall prospect in the 2022 class and the 24th best at his position. So, it’s no surprise to see who is in Payne’s early top 10.
The fact the Cards are one of the first schools to have offered the young, talented RB and remain in his top 10 has to bode well. However, it’s going to be a very long recruiting battle with the likes of Alabama, Wisconsin, and Penn State in the mix. All three have had great success in recent years with RBs such as Jonathan Taylor, Saquon Barkley, and Najee Harris. However, the Cards are experiencing a renaissance at the position themselves with the emergence of Javian Hawkins. I think this, along with the Cardinal offense being so run heavy, should mean Louisville has a legitimate shot at Payne.
Louisville fighting it out with these schools over the next couple summers will be worth it if they land Payne. His talent is evident in his highlights. His vision as a runner is superb as he sees holes open and quickly hits them with a great acceleration. Payne is a one-cut back looking to get north-south and, once he does, it’s off to the races. When he has to, Payne can use a variety of jump-cuts and jukes to shake defenders or just break tackles. His speed is such that he can outrun pursuit angles and gain huge chunks of yards. He’s also a danger catching screen passes and swing passes out of the backfield; not to mention his excellence as a kick returner. His stats bear this out as well. Payne had 790 yards rushing on 77 carries which averages out to 10.3 yards per carry in 2019. He scored 9 rushing TDs and 3 receiving TDs.
As stated above, it is very early in the recruiting process for Gi’bran Payne. However, Louisville making the early cut and being in the hunt with the likes of the schools mentioned above is great news. Payne is definitely worth every bit of this excellent staff’s recruiting efforts.