BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana's best-ever football recruiting class got even better on Monday when game-breaking Cincinnati LaSalle running back Gi'Bran Payne committed to the Hoosiers.
He announced his decision on social media. He becomes the 14th recruit in Indiana's Class of 2022, which now ranked No. 18 nationally, something that's never happened before in school history. No Hoosiers class has ever been ranked higher than No. 36 in the past two decades.
Payne is the third-highest rated player in Indiana's class behind defensive standouts Dasan McCullough of Bloomington South and Trevell Mullen of Coconut Creek (Fla.).
Payne is a 5-foot-10, 190-running back with great moves and blazing speed. He won a football state championship at LaSalle in 2019 and was also a state track champion last year as part of LaSalle's 4-by-100 relay team.
Payne is a top-10 Ohio recruit and considered one of the best 15-20 running backs in the country. He's a four-star recruit on most scouting services and chose Indiana over offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State, Florida and dozens of others.
Payne is the first running back in Indiana's class, and is a huge get for new Indiana running backs coach Deland McCullough, who's also the Hoosiers' associate head coach. McCullough, who's in his second stint at Indiana, was a college star himself at Miami of Ohio and has always had great success in bringing standout Ohio running backs to Bloomington, most notably Devine Redding, who had multiple 1,000-yard seasons at Indiana.
As a sophomore in 2019, Payne rushed for 790 yards and nine touchdowns during LaSalle's state championship season. In the playoffs, he rushed for 141 yards in one, then had 129 in the title game against Massillon Penny. He also had a rushing touchdown and a 95-yard interception return in a semifinal game.
"He (Payne) is unbelievable," La Salle head coach Pat McLaughlin told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "As explosive as he is, he can make people miss — he's just one of the more dynamic players I've ever been around."
Payne's junior season was cut short because of an ankle injury, and he was only able to carry the ball 43 times all season. He recovered nicely, as evidenced by his state championship track efforts in the spring.
Here's all the details on Indiana's 2022 class as of Tuesday:
Class of 2022 by position
- TOTAL COMMITS: (14)
- Quarterback (1): Josh Hoover
- Running backs (1): Gi'Bran Payne
- Wide receiver (1): Omar Cooper, Jr.
- Tight end (1): Ryan Miller
- Offensive linemen (3): D.J. Moore, Bray Lynch, Carter Smith
- Linebacker (2): Isaiah Jones, Kaiden Turner
- Defensive end (1): Richard Thomas,
- Athlete (1): Dasan McCullough
- Cornerback (2): Trevell Mullen, James Monds III
- Safety (1): Phillip Dunnam
Class of 2022 by state
- TOTAL COMMITS: (13)
- Florida (4): Trevell Mullen, James Monds III, Richard Thomas, Phillip Dunnam
- Ohio (4): Gi'Bran Payne, Ryan Miller, Carter Smith, Isaiah Jones
- Indiana (3): Dasan McCullough, Omar Cooper, Jr., D.J. Moore,
- Texas (2): Josh Hoover, Bray Lynch
- Arkansas (1): Kaiden Turner
Indiana's class rankings through the years
- 2022: No. 18 overall, fifth in the Big Ten*
- 2021: No. 54 overall, 12th in the Big Ten
- 2020: No. 57 overall, 12th in the Big Ten
- 2019: No. 36 overall, eighth in the Big Ten
- 2018: No. 50 overall, 10th in the Big Ten
- 2017: No. 62 overall, 13th in the Big Ten
- 2016: No. 53 overall, 11th in the Big Ten
- 2015: No. 53 overall, ninth in the Big Ten
- 2014: No. 48 overall, ninth in the Big Ten
- 2013: No. 42 overall, eighth in the Big Ten
- 2012: No. 57 overall, 11th in the Big Ten
- 2011: No. 55 overall, 11th in the Big Ten
- 2010: No. 70 overall, 14th in the Big Ten
- 2009: No. 66 overall, 13th in the Big Ten
- 2008: No. 68 overall, 13th in the Big Ten
- 2007: No. 80 overall, 14th in the Big Ten
- 2006: No. 67 overall, 13th in the Big Ten
- 2005: No. 78 overall, 14th in the Big Ten
- 2004: No. 54 overall, 10th in the Big Ten
- 2003: No. 76 overall, 14th in the Big Ten
- 2002: No. 62 overall, 12th in the Big Ten
- 2001: No. 51 overall, 11th in the Big Ten
- 2000: No. 38 overall, ninth in the Big Ten
The 2022 ranking is as of Tuesday, July 27 on the 247Sports composite.
Indiana 2022 commitments thus far
- PHILLIP DUNNAM: Indiana dipped into South Florida for another recruit, snaring North Miami Beach safety Phillip Dunnam. He's got NFL bloodlines as well. CLICK HERE
- D.J. MOORE: Standout Fort Wayne offensive lineman D.J. Moore is excited about staying home and playing with the Hoosiers. CLICK HERE
- BRAY LYNCH: Bray Lynch is a 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive tackle from Texas who has a winning pedigree. He committed to the Hoosiers. CLICK HERE
- OMAR COOPER JR.: Four-star wide receiver Omar Cooper Jr. caught a lot of passes from Donaven McCulley at Lawrence North, and he'll have the chance to do it again after committing to Indiana. CLICK HERE
- JAMES MONDS III: Indiana was thrilled to get a commitment from Vero Beach, Fla., cornerback James Monds III, who has great cover skills and could be a huge threat in the return game for the Hoosiers. CLICK HERE
- RYAN MILLER: Ryan Miller, a standout pass-catching tight end from the Cleveland area, has committed to Indiana. CLICK HERE
- CARTER SMITH: Ohio offensive tackle Carter Smith is the seventh commitment in Indiana's 2022 recruiting class. CLICK HERE
- JOSH HOOVER: Indiana got its first offensive commitment in the class of 2022 on Tuesday night when Rockwall-Heath (Texas) quarterback Joshn Hoover committed to the Hoosiers. CLICK HERE
- ISAIAH JONES: Linebacker Isaiah Jones of London, Ohio committed to Indiana on Sunday. Jones is 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, and received substantial interest from Minnesota, Cincinnati, Duke, Wake Forest and several MAC schools. CLICK HERE
- TREVELL MULLEN: Four-star Florida cornerback Trevell Mullen, the younger brother of Indiana All-American cornerback Tiawan Mullen, committed to Indiana on Sunday after his official visit to Bloomington. CLICK HERE
- DASAN McCULLOUGH: Four-star athlete Dasan McCullough, one of the top players in the Class of 2022, has de-committed from Ohio State and will join Indiana instead. His father is Indiana running backs coach Deland McCullough. CLICK HERE
- KAIDEN TURNER: Arkansas linebacker Kaiden Turner loves what Indiana's linebackers do, and he's thrilled to commit to the Hoosiers and join that outastanding group. CLICK HERE
- RICHARD THOMAS: South Florida defensive end Richard Thomas has committed to Indiana, keeping the Florida-to-Bloomington pipeline alive for Tom Allen and his Hoosiers. CLICK HERE