NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Kendrick Payne, WR, Southwest Baptist
What is your name?
What is your Height/Weight?
What is your position?
Where do you play college football?
Southwest Baptist University transfer from Arkansas Razorbacks
Where are you from?
Who is your role model, and why?
My role model is Randy Moss. As a kid I grew up watching him play on the television and video games. The man was an animal and made it look so easy. He used to put his hand up in the air before he was even opened because he knew he would be open by the time the ball came. Not many guys can have as much confidence as he had going up against players like Deion Sanders. I remember playing Madden as a kid and just airing it out to Moss knowing he would make the play. It is also worth mentioning that I looked up to Chad Ochocinco as a kid. I liked that fact that Chad enjoyed the game and spoke his mind no matter who was in front of him.
Who was your favorite teacher?
I have maintained great relationships with many if not all my professors. I would say that Angela Ham, my social work instructor would have to be the most influential teacher I have had in my life. She taught me to be a professional and to care maintain healthy habits in the workplace and at home. I have had many teachers care for my wellbeing, but Angela was very devoted and hard working. She led by example and showed how things were supposed to be done. She also pushed me very hard and helped me land a major job at Citizens Memorial Hospital. I work full time as a Social Worker in the Cancer Center where I lead support groups and counsel patients with cancer. For the things I have learned in the class room, I owe a great deal to Angela Ham.
Did you play any other sports growing up?
Growing up I played Basketball, Football, Track, and Baseball.
Who was the toughest player you ever faced?
Tevin Mitchell for the Indianapolis Colts. Tevin is very discipline and patient which is hard to do for most DB’s. Deception as a receiver is something I have mastered over time, but it is hard to deceive someone who is patient. With Tevin, I utilized a lot of speed releases and quick moves. All in all, probably one of the best DB’s I have ever lined up against.
Who is the most underrated player on your team?
Trent Edwards out of Dallas Texas is a big-time play maker capable of playing at any level of competition. He plays Division II which makes him slightly underrated, but I have no doubt in my mind that if he was at a Division I school that he would accel.
What is the one song that would fire you up before the biggest game of your life?
Knuck If You Buck ft. Lil Scrappy
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?
In comparison, I play like Chad Ochocinco. More heart than any one who lines up to guard him. Confidence is one of my biggest attributes.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
Many obstacles have been placed in my life but the biggest one of them all has been dedicating my life to something I love without the physical support of my family. As a child, I moved a lot. Before graduating high school, I attended 10 different schools over numerous states. In college, I played every football game without a single-family member in the crowd. Even games I played very well, I was alone in the locker room. Knowing the purpose of me being here helped me overcome this obstacle. During this time, I was a team captain, worked a part time job at the hospital, and went to school. Although it was tough, it taught me how to balance my schedule and be a man. I learned early that if I did not do it, then no one else will. I am the first in my family to successfully finish college and I do not plan on being the last.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Before every game I like to go onto the field and feel the atmosphere of the Arena. I take a knee at the goal post, close my eyes, and just listen. As I listen to the stadium, I think about how many things are going on inside one place. This realization helps me to focus on one thing and that is my job and my purpose of that time. Once I find my goal and purpose for that game, I thank God for my being there and pray he watches over my team and loved ones as we go to war.
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
Junior year we played a game against Missouri S&T in the rain. It was cold, and we were down 23 points at the half. Playing on the road, the odds were against us but not in my eyes. During halftime I knew we would have to pick it up and play our game, but adversity set in early. Coming out for the second half, our defense got a stop and offense was up. They pinned us on the -2-yard line with a punt. As offense got ready to come out, Coach Staback asked if I was ready to go deep and I told him “HELL YEAH”. We called a fade route on a defensive back that was playing at least 10 yards off the ball. The reason this is the most unforgettable play is because prior to getting lined up for this play, my coach had told the DB that we were coming at him right now. He said okay and acted like he was going to lock me up. Little did he know I wasn’t playing. I fired off the ball with no care in this world to what he had in mind. As I ate up the cushion and reached his toes I looked back and saw the ball sailing in the air. He turned his hips and tried running with me. Seeing that he had no idea where the ball was, I gave him eyes as if the ball was coming back shoulder, in that moment he turned to find the ball, and before he knew it separation between the two of us had occurred and I was gliding down the side line for the first score of the half that would lead to a major comeback against our rivals.
What is the coolest thing you ever did off the field for someone else?
A kid of my professor loved the football team and looked up to me. For his birthday I got him a helmet signed by the team and coaches. He loved it.
Who was your favorite NFL team growing up?
As a kid, the Seahawks were my favorite team.
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?
- Jesus: I have so many questions to ask him. So many things in this life do not make since but he always knew the right things to say. To eat dinner with a man willing to die for the sins of others would be a privilege and honor for me. There are things we all can learn from Jesus, but to be able to have dinner with him would be great.
- Bettie Payne (Grandmother): I would give anything to feel my grandmothers warm hug again. She taught me that nothing is given to you in this world, but everything is earned. She was a hard-working woman and I always admired her for that. I would love to have my grandmother for dinner to tell her all about my plans of our family. Before she left this physical world, family reunions were a thing in my family. Now times have changed, and we don’t do it anymore. My plan for the family is to get back to the days when we all can have family reunions again and love one another like when I was kid living with Grandma.
- Oscar Grant: I would have dinner with Oscar Grant to hear what he has to say after being shot with hand cuffs behind his back. I have saw many things where I am from, but this case was something that effected more than just Oscars family but families across the country.