This past weekend two Kentucky recruits made the cut for top lineman performers at the Rivals100 Five Star Challenge presented by Under Armour in Baltimore, Maryland. Those two guys are defensive tackle Daron Payne and strongside defensive end CeCe Jefferson.
While Daron and CeCe may be viewed as “long shots” to land at Kentucky, it has been noted that both have shown increased interest in UK in the last couple of months.
Daron hails from Birmingham (Shades Valley), Alabama where it is notoriously hard for another school to come in a pull a guy like this out of state especially when he has offers from the states elite powerhouses, Alabama and Auburn. The 6’ 3” 344 lb. 5-star DT is ranked as the 2nd best at his position and the 12th best over-all athlete in the country. Along with Alabama, Auburn and Kentucky, he has offers from Clemson, Florida St., South Carolina, Texas and others.
Payne – as well as all others – was looking to knock off No. 1, defensive end Byron Cowart, but he still came home with awards and was as tough to stop and as good as advertised. Daron landed at number three just behind Cowert and offensive tackle Richie Petitbon.
Here’s what Rivals.com Football Recruiting Anayst Mike Farrell had to say and Payne;
Payne was right there with Cowart for the Defensive Line MVP Award as he had an exceptional day. He used his quickness better than we’ve seen before, he got off low and with leverage and his inside rip was on point.
Check out Daron’s highlight video below.