The Virginia Tech Hokies have brought in a lot of defensive backs in the 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes with those guys battling for playing time behind established players like Kendall Fuller, Brandon Facyson, and Chuck Clark, and battling for the spot at rover with Desmond Frye and Donovan Riley.
Shawn Payne was redshirted last season and already has fallen behind most of the new defensive backs while also having to deal with some academic issues. Now, his time in Blacksburg is apparently over.
HokieHaven.com is reporting that Shawn Payne has made the decision to transfer with the academic issues likely a sign of his coming decision. With the timing of this decision, Payne may decide to transfer to a junior college for a couple of seasons or stay at Virginia Tech for the fall semester before transferring to another program.
Payne was not a highly-regarded player coming out of Richmond metro powerhouse L.C. Bird with Rivals, ESPN, and 247 Sports all ranking him as a two or low three-star recruit, and outside of the top 40 in Virginia. However, Payne was an intriguing prospect with his length and height at 6'3'', but only the Hokies and Charlotte offered him a scholarship.
Unfortunately, Payne never seemed to develop much and was buried on the depth chart for the Hokies.
Payne will likely receive a lot of interest from FCS programs given that he did spend some time in Blacksburg along with some smaller FBS programs like Charlotte, who previously offered him, and Old Dominion. If Payne decides to transfer to another FBS or FCS program, he may have to wait a semester to be able to formally transfer.
However, Payne may also go the junior college route and try to prove that he is worthy of getting the chance to play for a program in a power 5 conference. If so, Payne could even end up joining fellow Richmond native C.J. Reavis at East Mississippi Community College depending on that program's interest in Payne.
Shawn Payne had the height that defensive coordinators dream of in a cornerback, but it just never worked out for Payne and the Hokies. We wish the best of luck to Payne wherever he ends up in the future.