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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 42 Durham could turn out to be a very significant get in the long term because he is decidedly different than what Purdue currently has at his position, and fills a niche Purdue's staff has long looked for in recruiting. The tight end is a key receiv- ing position in Jeff Brohm's offense, but he's also long utilized at least one bigger, physical, more blocking-oriented tight end in conjunction with his better receivers at the position. Height: 6-5 Weight: 260 High School: Peachtree Ridge Hometown: Suwanee, Ga. Senior Stats: 22 receptions, 330 yards, five touchdowns P ayne Durham is a tough matchup. The Peachtree Ridge tight end, a 6-foot-5, 260-pounder, certainly was for opponent Collins Hill this season, proving to be a handful for his rival to try to cover. "I had to coach against him and I'm telling you that kid is going to be special," said Collins Hill coach Lenny Gregory, whose team beat Ridge, but saw Durham haul in four passes for 72 yards. "He's huge. He can catch; he's physical. He's going to be a good one." Purdue hopes so. Jeff Brohm jumped on Durham late — as everyone did — considering the Georgia native has played only a season of football. Durham had been a lacrosse player at Peachtree Ridge when Reggie Stancil, the new football coach, tried one more time to lure him to the football field. Many had tried before but failed. "I said, 'Well, I'm going to try again.' I went up to him after (my introductory) pep rally and said, 'Hey, if I hit this three-pointer, you've got to come out for spring practice and if you don't like it, I'll leave you alone. If I miss, I won't say a word to you about playing football the rest of career about playing football,'" said Stancil, who has used the bet about four times in his career and has made all four. "I got lucky and hit the shot and the rest is, what we all know, him being a good football player and going to Purdue." Durham chose the Boilermakers less than a week before the December signing day, picking them over Duke and Missouri. Stancil says Durham's smarts helped him pick up football quickly. "We had one game where he was the lead blocker pretty much 90 percent of the time, and he just enjoyed that part of the game," Stancil said. "But he catches the football as natural as any receiver." The Purdue Fit Did You Know? Durham, an attacker, was named second-team All-County by Gwinnett lacrosse coaches in 2017. Payne Durham Tight end "Durham is an intriguing prospect due to his size and frame. Some would immedi- ately think future offensive tackle when they see him step off the bus, but he moves fairly well and his hands are a strength. It will be interest- ing to see how he grows on the next level and just how he fits in. He is a physical kid who can block and make the tough catches in traffic." — Southeast analyst Chad Simmons take Action photo by Rick Fender

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