Payne recently completed his third season at South Carolina and will be transferring to Virginia Tech to continue his collegiate baseball career in the fall. Payne played in 37 games with 30 starts last spring while batting .265 (26-for-98) with 10 runs scored, five doubles, three triples, three homers and 19 RBIs. He was the winner of the NCAA Elite 89 award, given to the student-athlete of the eight schools at the College World Series with the highest grade point average. As a freshman in 2011, he appeared in nine games with two starts, and hit .250 with two runs scored and a double for the Gamecocks. Payne attended Mills Godwin High School in Virginia where he hit .333 as a junior with 20 runs scored, six stolen bases and a .444 slugging percentage. He was rated the No. 462 best high school prospect in the nation and the No. 11 best high school position player in the state of Virginia by Perfect Game USA. Payne is a native of Richmond, Virginia.