Four-star outside linebacker Patrick Payton committed to Florida State on Monday afternoon, helping the Seminoles fill a position of priority in the 2021 class.
Payton, a Miami Northwestern standout, backed off his commitment from Nebraska just a few days ago. He picked FSU over Miami. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound linebacker is considered the 22nd best outside linebacker in the nation and the 52nd best player in the state.
Osceola recruiting analyst Charles Fishbein has a full analysis of Payton:
Strengths: One thing Payton gives you is a defensive prospect who can rush the passer. He is one of the better pass rushers in Dade County. Against Columbus he had multiples sacks and tackles for loss. He has the speed and quickness to come off the edge and be an elite pass rusher. He finishes plays. You will see him blow by an offensive tackle and then close on a quarterback or running back. He has size and length. His body will allow him to carry weight.
Needs to work on: He just needs to get bigger and stronger. Right now he is about 215-220 pounds. If he plays rush end then you would like to see him get to 245-250. He needs to get into a college weight and conditioning program and put on some size. You have to wonder how he will hold up against the run. He is undersized and you want to make sure that Payton can handle the point of attack. You want him to learn how to use his hands better and disengage with offensive lineman once they get their hands on him.
Final Thoughts: Payton can be an elite pass rusher in college. He needs to continue to work on his craft. He has the physical attributes that you want in an edge rusher. He has size, speed, quickness and length. He can play OLB in a 3-4 or possibly have his hand down in a 4-3. You are looking at a kid who could develop into a prospect that ends up playing on Sundays. He plays with a high end motor and won’t stop till the whistle is blown.