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5-star DT Damon Payne sets decision date

The highly-touted defensive lineman is ranked 18th nationally in the 2021 class.

Damon Payne on Twitter

Mark Stoops and his staff have been on a roll when it comes to the recruiting side of things since he became the head coach.

In the 2020 class, the Kentucky Wildcats added a five-star defensive tackle in Justin Rogers who is ranked as the No. 16 overall player in the country and the No. 2 player at his position.

Now they are trying to do the same in the 2021 class, as they are in the hunt for another five-star All-American defensive tackle. In a little over two weeks, Coach Stoops and staff will know if they will be adding another top talent.

On Friday, Damon Payne announced on Twitter that he will be announcing his decision on July 26th.

According to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings, Payne is the No. 18 overall player in the class and is the No. 1 defensive tackle in America.

Payne currently has 10 finalists in his recruitment, but Kentucky is viewed as being near the top with Alabama, USC, and Arizona State. However, it’s the Crimson Tide who hold a commanding lead in the 247 Crystal Ball and Rivals FutureCast.

Just like the recruitment of Rogers, Payne is being recruited by defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale, who has been doing an excellent job on the recruiting trail. If Payne decides to head to Lexington, he will be the third big name recruit the Cats have landed out of Michigan.

Saying this, unless something drastic changes, it looks like Alabama is going to win out for this elite recruit.

Check out Payne’s junior season highlights below:

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