Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Payne Signs Pro Contract

Jordan Payne goes up to haul in a touchdown against the Chicago Chaos on July 21, 2018.Wide receiver Jordan Payne signed a contract in the offseason to play arena football. After a tryout with the Canadian Football League, Payne decided to play arena football in America. Payne will play for the upstart Oklahoma Flying Aces of the Champions Indoor Football (CIF) league.

Payne, who played football at NCAA Division 1 Alcorn State, was coming off of back-to-back major injuries after having never suffered a severe injury in his career. He wasn’t sure he was going to take to the field again.

“I had never sat out any games – football, basketball, track or anything – so, to be hurt, and not be able to do pretty much anything let alone play football, was tough,” said Payne.

The injuries left Payne thinking he might never play again. He contemplated how he might handle a third major injury. That’s when his parents stepped in and told him not to let obstacles like his injuries get in the way of where he sees himself someday, in the National Football League.

“Then my mom and dad said, ‘If you let something like this stop you, you’re never going to be successful. You’re always going to have trials and tribulations that you’re going to need to overcome,’” remembers Payne.

Jordan PayneThat was enough of a push to get Payne back onto the football field last season. It was a slow start for him as he got himself mentally ready coming off of the injuries but he eventually started to just go with his instincts and not think about the past.

“I believe playing on the Raiders this past year was a huge step in going in the right direction of my future of hopefully being on a NFL roster,” says Payne. “I feel like I’m able now to play with a more clear mindset and not worried about getting hurt. I feel like towards the end of the year, I was getting more into my football ways of playing free and playing loose.”

Payne was the Raiders leading receiver last season, hauling in 26 passes for 511 yards, and 7 touchdowns. He also threw a pass for a touchdown. Payne feels his time with the Raiders helped prepare him for his next steps.

Jordan Payne snags a pass against the Rock County Rage on August 4, 2018.“I feel like the Raiders was a big help in that whole situation (returning from injury),” said Payne. “I feel like going into this season with the Flying Aces that I’m going to go into it a lot more confident with having already played a whole season.”

Payne heads down to Enid, Oklahoma this weekend to begin practices. He’s slotted to be a wide receiver but may get some opportunities at quarterback and would welcome a chance to play both ways. The Oklahoma Flying Aces season begins on March 23, 2019, with a road game against the Omaha Beef. You can follow the Flying Aces on their website at https://oklahomaflyingaces.com.

Another Raiders player also signed a pro contract in the CIF in the offseason. Offensive lineman Isaiah Trussell is playing for the Salina (Kan.) Liberty. The two teams are in different conferences so the two former teammates on the Racine Raiders wouldn’t meet in a game unless both of their teams made the CIF championship game.

If you’re interested in playing for a team that has helped players move to the pro levels for over 65 years, come to our next tryout at Carthage College on Sunday March 24. Registration starts at 10:30 am and the tryout begins at 11 am. Find out more information on our Facebook event page for the tryouts.