GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — La Salle High School 2022 running back Gi'Bran Payne announced his verbal commitment to Indiana University on Monday afternoon.
"I already knew before the visit (Sunday) that IU was home but after the visit it was a done deal," Payne told WCPO. "That place is amazing. I love all the coaches and told them I would love to be a part of this system because it's going to be special and they said, 'Let's rock' so I took it in my hands from there and made it happen."
Payne, a four-star recruit, earned 27 scholarship offers during the recruiting process. He also considered Alabama, Florida, Penn State, Northwestern and Notre Dame among his finalists earlier this summer.
Payne is rated the nation's No. 20 running back in the 2022 class by 247 Sports. He is rated Ohio's No. 7 player overall in his class.
Payne, who is listed at 5 feet 10 and 205 pounds, has fully recovered from an injury at the end of the 2020 football season.
"What I'm looking forward to the most is playing a full season," Payne told WCPO earlier this summer. "Hopefully if we make it to the state championship - play all 16 games. And stay healthy really. That's my biggest goal."
Payne, who is an excellent student, had an memorable track season and was part of the Lancers' Division I state champion 400-meter relay team this spring.
"He looks fresh; he's running fast," La Salle football coach Pat McLaughlin said. "He's really becoming more of a vocal leader. We're excited to have him on offense and defense and special teams and have a big year for us."
Payne helped to lead the Lancers to the Division II state title in 2019.
Payne rushed for 790 yards and nine touchdowns and caught eight passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games in 2019. As a linebacker, he had 41 tackles (28 solo) including four sacks.
The Lancers (8-3 in 2020) were a Division II state semifinalist last season and return several key players.
La Salle opens against visiting Colerain Aug. 20 followed by Winton Woods on Aug. 27.
The Lancers host reigning national champion IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) Sept. 3.