2004 (SENIOR): Got off to a sensational start to his senior year and has put together a solid all-MWC, and perhaps All-America, campaign over the course of the season, helping to lead the league's No. 1 defense...was recently selected as one of 12 semi-finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented to the nation's best defensive back...was hampered by a banged-up knee for a couple weeks, but still leads the nation in passes broken up (15) and passes defensed (20)...tied for the league lead and for 4th in the country with a career-high 5 interceptions (69 yards)...surpassed Eric Jack's UNM record of 14 PBUs, set in 1993, at Colorado State...also has 32 tackles in 9 games (8 starts) on the year...at Colorado State...Struggled a bit with his footing, but made one of the biggest defensive plays of the game to help UNM win in Fort Collins for the first time since 1995...picked off Caleb Hanie at the UNM 30-yard line and returned the ball 32 yards to the CSU 34 with the Rams driving for the possible game-winning TD late in the 4th quarter...also beame UNM's all-time leader in PBUs when he knocked away Hanie's 3rd down pass intended for David Anderson, forcing a 2nd quarter punt...UNM scored on the ensuing drive...vs. San Diego State...Got in on 3 tackles off the bench and tied a UNM record with his 2nd quarter pass deflection...was slowed a bit by a sore knee, only playing 48 snaps...was not challenged often down the field...at UNLV...Injured his neck early early in the game and didn't see many balls come his way when he returned to action...made 2 tackles, including a TD-saving open-field stop of break-away Rebel TB Dominique Dorsey...UNLV's drive eventually ended with an INT in the endzone...also returned 3 punts for 10 yards, including a long of 18...dropped his first punt of the year, trying to make a diving catch, but fortunately the ball rolled harmlessly out of bounds...vs. Utah...Turned in another tremendous game, notching a career-high 4 pass deflections, an eye-popping interception and equaled his career-high with 7 solo tackles in all 82 snaps...made two leaping deflections and gave Ute QB Alex Smith his first INT of the year on a highlight reel play in the endzone...twisted and turned in mid-air to snare the 18-yard streak pass...also handled punt return duties for the first time in his career (2 - 8 yds.)...at New Mexico State...Got in on 4 tackles and helped the UNM secondary limit NMSU to a mere 60 yards passing, its best performance in 2 years...at Oregon State...Outstanding job of coverage, notching 3 pass break-ups and 4 tackles for the second straight game...teamed with fellow corner Gabriel Fulbright to eliminate the Beavers' deep sideline passing and helped hold the nation's leading receiver, Mike Hass, to a relatively low 60-yard day...vs. Texas Tech...Did a fine job against the high-octane Red Raider passing attack...finished with an interception and a career-high 3 PBUs in an incredible 92 defensive snaps...also notched four tackles...his INT late in the in the 3rd quarter turned the tide of the game...Tech, up 24-21, advanced to the UNM 12-yard line, following a Lobo turnover...however, Payne picked off Sonny Cumbie's third down pass into the endzone and returned the ball back to the UNM 37...the Lobos kicked a tying field goal 9 plays later...vs. Washington State...Enjoyed the best game of his career in front of a national TV audience...picked off the first two passes of his Lobo career and matched his best with 7 tackles, including several big-time hits...nearly had 3 INTs on the night, notching a 3rd quarter break up that might have gone for a TD had he held onto the ball...finished with 2 PBUs.
2003 (JUNIOR): Appeared in all 13 games and started the final 9 contests of the season...made 34 tackles (27 solo) and broke up 4 passes...Utah...Made 3 tackles, including a big hit on Ute RB Brandon Warfield...also had a pair of athletic pass deflections in 62 snaps...San Diego State...Season-high 7 solo tackles and a pair of PBUs in 75 snaps...struggled a bit in coverage early, but rallied to make several big plays down the stretch...Utah State...Solid game to help UNM record its best pass defense performance of the year...3 tackles, including his first TFL...also had his first pass deflection of the year in 54 snaps at corner...Washington State...Made his first career start and finished with 5 solo tackles in 43 plays...Texas State...Pair of tackles in his Lobo debut.
BLINN JC: Honorable mention all-conference in the secondary his sophomore season...led the team with 5 interceptions and he blocked 5 field goals.
HIGH SCHOOL: A 2000 graduate of Dayton (Texas) HS...first team all-district and honorable mention all-state cornerback as a senior when he had 4 interceptions...played for head coach Jerry Stewart...also a three-year starter on the basketball team.
PERSONAL: Born Feb. 10, 1981, in Baytown, Texas...age is 23...full name is Brandon Dimitri Payne...son of Vanessa and Cleve Cochran...Cleve is a locomotive engineer...majoring in University Studies.
CAREER HIGHS: Tackles: 7, (3 times). Interceptions: 2, vs. Washington State (9/3/04). Passes Broken Up: 4, vs. Utah (10/1/04).
PAYNE CAREER STATS