Before the start of the 2015 season, rumors began circulating about Holland Fisher and Shawn Payne both leaving the football team to transfer elsewhere before being confirmed weeks before the season opener against Ohio State. After that, things went silent about the duo of defensive players that departed with still not much information about them other than Fisher heading to the JUCO ranks.
Meanwhile, Payne went off-the-radar but never left Blacksburg and decided to give playing at Virginia Tech another chance.
Payne walked back on the team in December and now has a second chance to try and leave some sort of mark on Lane Stadium at the highly-contested defensive back spot. At this point, the climb for Payne to be competing for time even on special teams will be tough, but the former L.C. Bird star is wiling to give it another shot, and see if he might be able to earn some playing time and a second stint on-scholarship.
Payne was a borderline three-star recruit coming out of high school, but was definitely an intriguing recruit due to his size and length at 6'2'' and now 181 pounds. However, Payne wasn't able to really climb the depth chart in his first year in Blacksburg and fell behind players from the Class of 2015 before the start of the 2015 season.
After leaving the team for a few months, Payne has returned and knows he will have to work hard to have a chance at touching the field and making an impact at Lane Stadium. This time, Payne won't have the same attention on him as an on-scholarship player, and a second departure from the team would likely not make much of a headline if any.
Shawn Payne earned a maroon shirt fairly quickly in the Hokies' early morning workouts, but Payne will have to keep the intensity up and increase it even more if he wants to play for the Hokies. Payne seems ready to give it all he's got to try to make an impact on Virginia Tech football most likely knowing that a second departure will almost certainly go unnoticed if things don't work out.