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Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne locked and loaded for next season

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

One of Alabama football’s freakish athletes is set to dominate as a junior.

Regardless of it being summer vacation, Da’Ron Payne is neither at home nor the beach. In fact, the five-star defensive tackle has been in the weight room getting stronger to handle more offensive linemen.

He posted a video to his Instagram on his progress with the caption “You know we working!”

Always Working 💪🏾

A post shared by Daron Payne (@94yne) on

Payne, a native of Birmingham, Ala., signed in the Crimson Tide’s 2015 recruiting class, joining the likes of Minkah Fitzpatrick, Calvin Ridley, Damien Harris and Blake Barnett – who’s now at Arizona State University.

After having success as a freshman, he recorded 36 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery and a touchdowns a season ago. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 308 pounds, Payne is both physical and athletic. He has the strength to shed blocks in stopping the run, while possessing the footwork to affect the quarterback. His performance in spring testing proved to once again state him as being one of the team’s best.

Despite his size, Payne turned in a 635-pound squat, a 545-pound bench press, a 365-pound power clean – team-best – and a 40-time of 5.03 seconds. He along with Da’Shawn Hand and a combination of Isaiah Buggs and Quinnen Williams will be pivotal in creating negative plays.

An opportunity for a high draft stock is also in the mix for Payne, as he watched Dalvin Tomlinson get selected in the second round and Jonathan Allen go in the first round of this year’s venue.

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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