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Payne shifts over to offensive line

The Sports Xchange

--OG Cody Payne was moved in spring drills from DT to the offensive line. By the end of spring camp, the 6-6, 275-pound senior was working out with the first team offense.

Payne has tried his hand at both TE and DE in the past two seasons at UAB, but never really found his way on the field much for either position.

It seems he's settled in.

"I think we found the position for him, he's an offensive lineman," UAB head coach Garrick McGee said in the Birmingham News. "There's an example of taking a kid that was potentially an average defensive lineman and I think he's one of the more athletic offensive linemen that we have."

--There were rumblings, and even some unconfirmed reports that it was a done deal, in April that UAB head coach Garrick McGee would bolt the Blazers program before ever coaching a game to return to Arkansas and replace Bobby Petrino.

McGee, Arkansas' former offensive coordinator, did not leave the program obviously, and the Razorbacks hired John L. Smith instead on a 10-month basis.

It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility if after the coming season to hear McGee's name come up again at Arkansas if he has a solid year with the Blazers.


QB Jonathan Perry -- The job was essentially his to lose heading into spring, but the junior-to-be not only held on, he thoroughly impressed his head coach with his mental ability to adapt to a new offense. Parry is known for his scrambling ability, but head coach Garrick McGee's offenses at Arkansas weren't exactly known for running quarterbacks so Perry's ability to be a pocket passer was in question heading into spring drills. McGee feels Perry passed with flying colors.

FS Cortez Webb -- The junior college transfer who enrolled in January from Butler County CC in Wichita, Kan., was battling out with former junior college transfer FS Calvin Jones throughout spring for the starting job. Jones was on the team last year, but Webb was mentioned specifically by head coach Garrick McGee after the April spring game as one of the players who most impressed him in spring drills.

OG Cody Payne -- When Garrick McGee was hired, Payne was working to get his name penciled in as a solid No. 2 on the depth chart as a defensive lineman. Before camp began, he was told he had to make a position change before his senior season to offensive guard. He did. He didn't complain. He worked and by the end of camp, he was atop the depth chart as a likely starter next fall.

"I learned we have a lot of good players on our team -- more than most people think we have." -- First-year UAB head coach Garrick McGee.

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