Payne headed to Nebraska

Published 9:59 pm Friday, January 3, 2020

Former Nansemond River High School football standout Pheldarius Payne has signed to continue playing college football at the University of Nebraska.

After committing to North Carolina State University last summer, Payne decided to reopen his recruitment and signed with Nebraska instead. Payne recently finished up his sophomore year at the junior college Lackawanna.

Payne was a part of the 2018 graduating class at Nansemond River, and over the course of two years at Lackawanna, he built his profile on the field, which prompted NCAA Division I schools to offer him scholarships to finish out his collegiate career.

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Payne collected offers from major Division I programs such as Syracuse, NC State, Liberty, Nebraska and others. He felt like Nebraska provided better opportunities for him.

“It was a better opportunity for myself,” Payne said. “I have a chance to play right away, and it felt like home to me with the players and coaches there.”

The Suffolk native said the toughest part was the relationships he had built was certain coaches at NC State. He knew Nebraska was the best opportunity for him and only de-committed to go there. Even though Nebraska is far away, he has a strong support system, which assured him that he’d be fine.

The Cornhuskers are a part of the Big-Ten Conference and recently went 5-7 this season. Payne is a two-time All-Conference selection at Lackawanna College. At Nansemond River, he was an All-District and All-Region selection at defensive lineman.