Alabama A&M has relied on an explosive offensive attack to be one of the top teams in the SWAC over the past few seasons. The Bulldogs led the SWAC in both scoring offense and total offense in the 2021 season, but will have to replace multiple top contributors from last season. The Bulldogs landed a major addition to the wide receiver core as former Northern Colorado wide receiver Donovan Payne announced his commitment to Alabama A&M on social media.
— Donovan Payne (@DonovanPayne20) June 18, 2022
Payne was a standout at John Horn High School in Texas where he contributed as both a wide receiver and return specialist. He was named a 2nd Team All-District selection and helped lead John Horn make a run to the 3rd round of the Texas State playoffs as a junior. The 6-foot-6, 200-pound wide receiver totaled 36 receptions, 598 receiving yards, and 4 touchdowns over his three seasons in high school. Payne announced his commitment to Northern Colorado over Alcorn State and Northwestern State.
Payne saw action in one game last season for the Bears against Weber State and maintained his redshirt eligibility. He announced his transfer after the 2021 season on January 25th and received offers from Morgan State, Lindenwood, and Alabama A&M. Payne originally committed to Morgan State on May 21st, but Morgan State hired Bowie State head coach Damon Wilson on June 10th and Payne reopened his recruitment. He will have four years of eligibility left at Alabama A&M.
The Bulldogs lost SWAC All-American Dee Anderson, Zabrian Moore, and Odieu Hilaire this offseason at the wide receiver position. Payne will join Miami transfer Jeremiah Payton, Arkansas transfer Darin Turner, and Ohio transfer Isaiah Cox as new additions to the wide receiver room for Alabama A&M. 1st Team SWAC All-American Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim returns to lead the Alabama A&M receiving core. Payne will replace the size the Bulldogs lost when Dee Anderson graduated this offseason and should be a versatile weapon in the red zone for Alabama A&M.
Alabama A&M opens the 2022 season on the road against UAB on September 1st.