L.C. Bird High School’s football program celebrated a big-time signing during the NCAA’s early signing period, which began this past week. Quarterback and defensive back Jaden Payoute signed a letter of intent to become a Virginia Tech Hokie.
“It’s a very big weight (off my shoulders). It’s finally over so I can focus on what I have to do at the next level,” Payoute told Cory Van Dyke of Techsideline.com. “It’s humongous for me and my family because me going to the next level and playing college football, that has always been my dream. It’s a big honor.”
Payoute has long been considered an elite athlete and saw a significant uptick in his recruiting when he displayed his track-level speed during his junior season. He won a state title in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.67 and then won a team title in the 4 x 100-meter relay with teammates LaMar Davis, Jevon La Pierre
“Jaden Payoute is an elite athlete,” L.C. Bird coach Troy Taylor said. “He went to quarterback vs. Thomas Dale, and he was able to lead us to the victory this season. He also plays basketball for us and has a 42-inch vertical (leap),” he continued. “Jaden was a wonderful leader for our program, and his teammates and coaches love him. He will do a wonderful job at Virginia Tech.”
Payoute racked up over 900 yards from scrimmage and scored 13 total touchdowns.
He will play wide receiver for Virginia Tech, which is 6-6 and plays Cincinnati in the Military Bowl Dec. 31.
In addition, two other L.C. Bird players picked up college offers. Offensive lineman John Stenglein got an offer from Division II Chowan, and wide receiver/defensive back Mykey Anderson got one from West Virginia State.
Stenglein was a tackle for the Skyhawks who provided protection for Payoute. At 6-4, he provides size and a projectable frame for the next level. With a
Last spring, Stenglein played goalie for the L.C. Bird lacrosse team. He has been a two-year starter for the Skyhawks on the gridiron, recently playing in the Big River Rivalry, a regional all-star game.
Anderson was a playmaker for the Skyhawks all year long and played multiple positions. As a junior, he primarily played cornerback, but as a
Anderson caught 14 passes for 350 yards and three
With players such as these, Taylor and the Skyhawks finished 9-3 on the season, defeating Douglas Freeman in the first round of the playoffs before falling to Henrico in the second round.