Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Wide Receiver Jordan Payne

Jordan Payne snags a pass against the Rock County Rage on August 4, 2018.Jordan Payne was a standout prep quarterback at Park High School. He had several offers to play collegiate ball and chose to go to Alcorn State University, a Division 1 Football Championship Series school that plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and is located in rural Lorman, Mississippi. Originally recruited to play quarterback in a wildcat offense, Payne’s coach approached him about moving to receiver.

Payne excelled with the move to receiver for the Braves, starting his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. He hauled in 65 career passes and scored 21 touchdowns. Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver also played for the Braves in the mid-1990s, and only scored 17 career touchdowns on 88 receptions.

Payne was able to help Alcorn State do a couple of things that the talented Driver missed out on. The Braves won conference titles in 2014 and 2015, for the first time in 20 years. They also won the Black College National Championship in 2014, a feat the Braves last accomplished in 1984. Payne caught the first touchdown in the championship game against Southern en route to a 38-24 win.

Jordan Payne goes up to haul in a touchdown against the Chicago Chaos on July 21, 2018.Payne had made enough of a name for himself at Alcorn State that he got several looks from teams in the National Football League and Canadian Football League. He attended two different pro days but didn’t catch on with a team at the time. In 2017, he attended a tryout for the Winnipeg Bombers. Everything was looking promising for Payne. He ran the fastest 40 time at the camp and the coaches were impressed.

“They asked me to run one last route,” remembers Payne. “I went to push off and I felt my Achilles go.”

That started out a terrible 2017 for Payne. After going through a seven-month recovery, he was getting in some cardio, playing basketball with friends, ahead of another trip down south to attend a camp.
“I went up for a layup and when I came down, my other Achilles went,” said Payne.

After recovering from that injury, Payne was looking to get back on the gridiron. He was talking to his dad about his football itch and he told him he should look into the Raiders.

“I had some teammates from Park on the Raiders,” says Payne. “ I asked them if they thought the coaches would mind me coming to practices just to stay into it.”

He wasn’t planning on playing in a game but the coaching staff kept talking to him and Payne started to feel more comfortable following the injuries so he decided to officially join the Raiders. His first couple of games were quiet, but he made a great diving catch in the end zone last week.

Payne is only 24 years old and plans to try and play pro football again. For now, he enjoys teaching sixth grade math at 21st Century Preparatory School and helping run Legacy on Main, a new restaurant in Racine that Payne opened with his two brothers and a pair of friends.