Rico Payton ‘Proud’ to Represent Pitt State on Journey to the NFL

PITTSBURG, KS – Former Pitt State cornerback Rico Payton signed with the New Orleans Saints earlier this week.

Payton’s 2023 campaign earned him division two second team All-American honors by the AFCA. Payton would finish last season with 35 tackles, four interceptions, and 16 pass breakups. Reflecting on his time at Pitt State, Payton said he’s learned a lot over the course of his college football career, and said he was proud to represent his former team.

“It all means a lot, Pitt State is a great school,” said Payton.

“I had a great team. I love all my coaches, teammates, and teachers who have helped me out. The school was a great place for me, and I’m proud to represent the Gorillas.”

Payton would be nominated for the division two Cliff Harris Award, which is given to the small college defensive player of the year. With a strong season and pro day, Payton said the Saints were a perfect fit for him.

“My visit with the Saints went really well,” Payton said.

“I like the team, I like the coaches, and just the team in general is a winning organization. I remember telling everybody that I felt like it was a really good fit.”

The Saints start rookie mini camp on May 10th, Payton said he will be heading to New Orleans shortly before that date. Payton also said he’s looking forward to working with several athletes he’s looked up to over the years.


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