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Minnesota Basketball: Ben Johnson gets Pharrel Payne to commit to Gophers

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Pharrel Payne is the second verbal commit to Ben Johnson and the Gophers 2022 class

Brad Rempel

Pharrel Payne is one of those players who was not on a lot of program’s radar until he had a fantastic summer of AAU ball and saw his recruiting stock rise dramatically. Ben Johnson and the Gopher staff also took notice of Payne’s big summer and they have been making a push to get him landed as part of their 2022 recruiting class.

The local crop of 2022 players is very deep and talented. Payne really wasn’t on many lists of top Minnesota juniors, just a few months ago. But now the Cottage Grove kid is seeing his name garnering more and more attention.

He took an official visit this weekend and has given his verbal commitment to be a Golden Gopher.

Here’s what we know about Payne

Pharrel Payne

Pos: C/PF
Ht: 6’8-9”
Wt: 230
High School: Park High School

A couple key characteristics of Payne is that he is a very young senior and that he has an incredibly strong lower body. The day of his commitment was his 17th birthday, as he heads into his senior season. And it is that strong base and long arms that have made him really attractive as a high major post player.

Payne will be coming to the Big Ten as a post player. But as you can see in the highlights video below, he brings a lot of skill to go with this post presence. Very well could end playing more PF in college but for now, lets assume he will play primarily in the post.

This is a very nice get for Ben Johnson and the Gopher staff. I do firmly believe that when recruiting rankings are updated from the summer circuit, his name is going to skyrocket up the rankings. As of this moment it may appear as though Payne is a 3-star recruit that is outside of the top 200, but with the knowledge of what happened over the summer, he will be a top 150 recruit (quite possibly top 100) and have 4-stars next to his name.

Along with Carrington, Payne is a fantastic local get and makes a solid base for the 2022 class.