Gi’Bran Payne

Sedrick Shaw finished up his college career as Iowa’s all-time leading rusher in 1996. It happened years before Gi’Bran Payne was born.

The Cincinnati (OH) LaSalle High running back studies the history of the game, though. And Shaw’s dominance and Hawkeye track record at the position has impressed Payne.

Iowa offered the Class of 2022 standout a scholarship on Friday. He included a photo of Shaw in his social media post announcing the opportunity. The program’s success at running back stood out.

“I’m feeling pretty good about it, especially because I’m familiar with their leading rusher, Sedrick Shaw. So, it could factor a lot,” Payne told HN.

Rivals and 247 rank Payne as a four-star prospect. The latter views him as the No. 24 running back nationally in the ’22 cycle and the No. 206 player overall regardless of position.

Only halfway through his prep career, Payne (5-11, 195) has watched his offer list grow steadily this offseason. Purdue, Kentucky, Iowa State, Minnesota and Indiana stepped forward in January. Louisville, Penn State and Michigan jumped in during February and March. April brought opportunities from Nebraska, Boston College, Michigan State and Georgia Tech. Iowa and Wisconsin came in at the end of last week.

“I have a good bond with Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State, Pitt, Northwestern and some others right now, but I wouldn’t say any of them are sticking out above the others. Right now, I look at them all the same,” Payne said.

That wide-open approach gives Iowa a window for building a relationship with him. He’s already feeling a good bond with Hawkeye running back coach Derrick Foster.

“I like coach. He’s always being real with you, and that’s what I like. Our relationship is only getting stronger,” Payne said.

Iowa’s offer brightened his day. He’s thankful for all of the opportunities.

“My reaction to getting the Iowa offer was being very excited. The offer meant a lot to me. It’s another opportunity to play at the next level,” Payne said.

He’s taken time for researching the program. He’s been impressed with what he’s found.

“I’ve learned a little about the football team and the history of former running backs. I need to learn some more. I plan on taking a visit there,” said Payne, who did not grow up rooting for a particular school.

The academic component in the decision-making process looms large for him.

“I think I want to study Sports Marketing and Management or Medicine,” he said.

Payne will have time to figure it all out. He’s being deliberate with his recruitment.

“I’ll probably look to make my commitment around this time next year, maybe earlier,” he said.

Payne missed some time with an injury in ’19, but still finished with 790 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 77 carries. He added three receiving scores. On defense, he racked up more than 60 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles and two interceptions, one of which went for a Pick-6.

Here’s a look at Payne’s sophomore highlights: