POCA, WV (WOWK-TV) — Poca star Running Back Ethan Payne is glued to his craft.
“Every single day I’m thinking about football. If I’m not playing football I’m watching football highlights to see if I can pick up on something,” Payne said.
Payne picked up several college offers, including one from Marshall — and says his success comes from what he does behind the scenes.
“Hard work over the last summer I was at this field every day by myself doing cutting drills getting in shape,” Payne said.
It paid off, as the Dots standout was the top player in the Mountain State last year — and earned the Kennedy Award after a record-breaking season.
“I was really excited, it meant a lot to me and the community I was the first win to win it here at Poca so it really means a lot to us.”
The rising senior dazzled out of the backfield. scoring 49 touchdowns a season ago, and made history accounting for 276 of Poca’s points.
“Take it to the house, that’s the first thing on my mind. I didn’t even really think about it till the middle of the season I was like I have this many touchdowns.”
He models his game after Carolina Panthers All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey and even wears the same number.
“The way we run the ball, our vision and speed, I think we are kind of similar.”
Payne will soon play on Saturdays at the next level, but if he wants to play on Sundays like his idol — it starts here — and now continues here.