Returning All-SGV running back Jake Payton has left the San Dimas football program and is likely to transfer to Upland for his senior season.
Rumors began swirling about Payton’s plans earlier this month and Payton missed a meeting to discuss his future with Saints head coach Bill Zernickow on Friday afternoon.
“Recently, I have learned that Jake Payton plans on transferring at the end of the school year,” Zernickow said in a prepared statement. “While this is a family decision, we want to thank Jake Payton for spending the last 3 years with us. We love Jake Payton, and we hope he is able to achieve the dreams and goals he has in playing football. My door will always be open for Jake.”
Payton was named to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune’s first team at running back after rushing for 1,658 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was also the Valle Vista League’s Player of the Year after leading the Saints to the league championship.
According to several reliable sources, Payton’s plans are to transfer to Upland. He may be with the Scots as early as Saturday when they compete in the Claremont Tourament.
Aram’s take: How does Upland do it? Simply incredible. First Elijah Jones from Damien and now Payton. I don’t know enough about Upland football to say where Payton fits in. He’s certainly a fantastic player and a nice get. Will he be the feature back? Dunno. Will this move ultimately lead to more exposure and ultimately some nice college offers? Hopefully. As for San Dimas, this is a major blow, but not something the Saints can’t recover from. Payton has a bona fide home run hitter in the Wing-Z, but as we’ve seen throughout the years, Zernickow’s offense makes the stars, not the other way around. SD has depth at running back and a returning QB in Josh Avila. It’s hard to say that Payton made SD a legit Mid-Valley Division title contender by himself, but he was surely one of the top players in the division and a difference maker.