Reese Payne signs with Henderson State

Caddo Mills senior Reese Payne smiles after signing a letter of intent to play football at Henderson State in Arkadelphia, Ark. With Payne from left are Caddo Mills athletic director/head football coach Kodi Crane, Caddo Mills defensive coordinator Patrick Walker, plus his parents Anne and Rowdy Payne.

  CADDO MILLS — Caddo Mills senior Reese Payne will continue a family tradition when he plays football in Arkadelphia, Ark.

  Payne, who signed with Henderson State of Arkadelphia to play for the Reddies, will be attending college in the same city as five previous family members. His late grandfather Eddie Blackmon, plus two of Blackmon’s brothers and two of his sisters attended college in Arkadelphia, but it was at crosstown rival Ouachita Baptist.

  Payne, a two-time all-state selection for the Foxes, made a few visits to colleges before deciding on Henderson State.

  “I saw that Henderson State was the best place for me,” he said.

  Payne was recruited by the Reddies to play linebacker, where he rang up 111 tackles, including eight tackles for losses for the 8-3 Foxes. He also forced three fumbles and recovered one fumble as the 2019 Foxes advanced to the playoffs.

  “I’ll play any position on the field but linebacker is my favorite,” said Payne.

  Caddo Mills athletic director Kodi Crane said Payne’s hard work helped him land the scholarship offer.

  “He’s worked extremely hard to be in this position,” said Crane at Payne’s signing ceremony. “Just understand it takes a special person sitting in this seat.”

  Crane said the biggest thing he’ll miss about Payne is “the leadership on and off the field.”

  Payne earned honorable mention all-state honors on The Associated Press Sports Editors Class 4A 2019 and 2018 all-state teams at linebacker.

  Henderson State went 9-3 this past season, finishing at 9-2 in the Great American Conference to place third behind 11-0 Ouachita and 10-1 Harding (Ark.). The Reddies lost 35-14 to Missouri Western in the 2019 Live United Bowl in Texarkana, Ark.

  Payne said he was “very excited” to be headed to Henderson State.

  “I’m ready to get things started,” he said.

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