Texas is in the "yes" column for Rivals100 LB Payton Pierce
Lucas Lovejoy linebacker Payton Pierce was busy last week, taking unofficial visits to Oklahoma, Texas and Baylor. The 2024 Rivals100 member was in Austin on Thursday and said it was a good experience for both himself and his mother.
“This is the first time bringing my mom with me, so it was fun to have her because she got to experience everything and watch practice. It was fun watching practice and watching the players kind of communicate and do it without the coaches, just on their own,” Pierce said. “There was a lot of energy at practice and it was fun. I get to meet a lot of recruits, to talk to Arch (Manning) for a little bit. It was really fun and it was a good experience.”
One of the highlights of the visit for Pierce and most other recruits in attendance was getting to watch a player-led practice by the Longhorns.
“The first play the defense caught a pick so that was good, but there was a lot of energy. It was really loud and enthusiastic,” Pierce said. “They were really playing for each other and they were loud. It looked like they were having a lot of fun. I know it was just the players and there were no coaches but there was a lot of communication. They looked like they really having a blast so that was fun to watch.”
Of course, in recruiting, you usually have to not only win over the player, but his family as well. According to Pierce, his mother really enjoyed the visit and she clicked with the UT staff.
“She liked it a lot, I think. I hope so. She had a blast,” Pierce said. “I don't think she stopped talking the whole time. She probably talked to every single coach so yeah, she had a blast.”
With about 30 scholarship offers, Pierce is one of the nation’s most coveted prospects in the 2024 class. Along with the three schools he visited last week, programs like Arkansas, Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee and Wisconsin have offered, among others. At this point, Pierce is considering all options but he has a plan on how he’d like the recruiting process to play out.
“Right now I'm still open for everything. I'm kind of talking to all the schools that have recruited me and keeping an open mind,” Pierce said. “I haven't really made a top (list) or decided on who I kind of want in my top. I've just kind of come in with open arms.
“Every school that wants me, I'll show them love back but I think by the end of probably this football season, I'll start to kind of narrow my list down. I'm doing that as we speak, but I'll more formally make a top list and then probably about this time next year, summer next year, make the decision. That's kind of where I'm at right now.”
After last week’s visit to Texas, Pierce said the Longhorns will draw strong consideration as he works through his recruitment.
“They’re right at the top with the rest of the top ones. They're not anywhere down in the bottom, they're right there with the yeses. I’ve got the yesses and the nos and they're right up there with every other school that is in that yes category,” Pierce said.
A four-star prospect, Pierce ranks No. 32 on the 2024 Rivals100.