Cal defensive lineman Kendrick Payne (#96) chases down Colorado's Rodney Stewart in 2010.Many of the players at Saturday's B.C. Lions' free-agent camp in Seattle were from Washington or surrounding states, but defensive lineman Kendrick Payne's football journey has taken him farther afield. Payne grew up in Houston, Texas, but went to Berkeley to play college football at Cal, where he entered as a two-star recruit but went on to beat more highly-touted players. He started eight games for the Golden Bears in 2012, co-led the squad with a career-high 3.5 sacks and earned the team's Bob Tessier Award as its most improved defensive lineman. Now, he's hoping his career will take him to Canada. Payne impressed all day in workouts and was one of the last players left. He said he was happy with his showing at the tryout.
"I feel like it went pretty well for me," Payne said. "I moved well today, I ran pretty good times. It’s an exciting opportunity, especially the thought of getting the chance to go to Canada. It’s amazing."
Payne said that would be just the latest step in his football journey, one he's hoping to press on with.
"I played at Cal, but I'm originally from Houston, Texas," he said. "I played at Klein Forest High School in Houston. I'm from a small town right outside Houston, I've been playing football all my life, and I'm hoping to continue it right now."Read More »from Lions’ free-agent camp: Kendrick Payne’s journey’s taken him from Houston to Berkeley, and he hopes it will lead him to B.C.