With the departure of Jordan Willis and Elijah Lee for the draft, some of the Wildcat faithful are concerned about the outlook for next year’s defense. No need to fret, the incoming 2017 commitment class and the already present talent waiting in the wings will keep Kansas State on top for years to come. One of the most exciting defensive ends in the commitment class this year comes from the Kansas City area, Anthony Payne.
If you missed my mid-season update after catching one of Payne’s games this fall, be sure to check it out here.
Earlier in the year, I had the chance to catch up with Payne and ask a few questions, be sure to revisit that article by clicking here.
Gracey Terrill: With the success of the 2016 Kansas State team, how are you feeling going into the 2017 season?
Anthony Payne: I am ready for the challenge and it definitely feels great to be a part of a winning program. The coaching staff is one of the best and I'm looking forward to hopefully participating in another successful year for K State.
GT: The excitement throughout the K-State fan-base for the 2017 season is already building and the season is so far away, what are you looking forward to most about playing for K-State?
AP: There are so many things about playing for K State that I'm looking forward to but I think just being able to play at this level is exciting itself. I look forward to playing next to players who have the same goal in mind as me and just see how all our abilities are able to play off each other on the field.
GT: 247sports.com ranked you as a four star recruit and the #1 defensive end in Missouri, which is a great accomplishment! How did you feel after seeing that news?
AP: I try to always stay humble but I can't lie that was a pretty cool feeling. It motivated me to work just as hard to stay on top.
GT: You recently went on your official visit to Kansas State… what were your overall thoughts? Favorite spot on campus?
AP: All the buildings in campus are so nice it's hard to pick just one, but the new business school is beautiful and just seeing all the resources available to me as a student was pretty cool. I want to either major or minor is business so I think that building will become my friend over the next few years.
GT: One last question, if you could share one reason that you are excited to be part of the K-State family with other recruits… what would it be?
AP: You know visiting all of the schools is basically an interview on both parts and just follow your gut and really listen when it feels right and the people really care about you on and off the field. When you find that combination you don't let it go. K State made the effort to make me feel at home. That goes a long way.
From all of us, welcome to the K-State family! Looking forward to your future success on and off the field.