Rookie Spotlight: Jevon Payne
“With the 5th pick in the RFL draft, the Chicago Cougars select...Jevon Payne LB Virginia” With those words Commissioner Smitty brought one of the best young talents into the RFL, many judged the pick immediately and people called it another Cougars bust. Just the year before they took 2 QBs in the first 2 rounds, neither of which are on the team anymore. Even if they didn't think he was a bust nobody expected him to play right away or do anything spectacular for his team this year.
In most College scouts eyes he was just Elijah's big brother. He was good but he was always second best. “I'm the technician, Eli is the true talent” is what Jevon said going into the draft. They went to Virginia so they could play together and it paid off. They set each other up to make plays and they both got the spotlight. But Elijah was still the better prospect. So when he got the call first it was a surprise to everyone. There were plenty of other great defensive players including rival LB Danny Ingram who went a few picks later. But Jevon was ready.
“I wasn't expecting it but I was ready to get to work” said Jevon. What he lacked in pure talent he made up for in work ethic. Coach Darr made him the day 1 starter and worked long hours to get him game ready. And all that work paid off. Going into week 17 he has 62 tackles, 2 sacks and a pick. Not outstanding numbers but he is a true leader on a pretty stingy defense. He sets his teammates up for big plays just like he did in college. Chicago sits in the top 10 in total defense and Jevon himself leads the way for AFC Defensive Rookie Of The Year. He also sparked them to a playoff caliber season, raking over power houses like the Celtic Tigers and the River Hogs. At the young age of 21, Jevon seems set to lead Chi Town's defense for years to come.
Written By: Noah Underhill