DITR: Payton Daigle, Iota High

Payton Daigle is a class of 2023 cornerback from Iota, La. His head coach, Ray Aucoin, called me and told me “this kid is special, he does everything we ask of him and more.” Last season, Payton placed 2nd Team All-District. This season, he has already been named Parish Player Of The Week for his game on the 23rd of Sept. Payton currently has a 4.0 GPA and a 23 ACT. He is a member of Beta Club, National Honors Society, Student Council, and FCA. Payton also plays baseball for Iota and was voted 1st Team All-District this past season.

Payton plays with good game speed, but his field awareness and “can do” attitude is what makes him a Diamond In The Rough. Payton has the tools to play at the next level. Coach Aucoin said “Payton is our lockdown corner. He is 5’8″ but he plays much bigger. I like it when teams throw to his side. He has multiple picks this season so far.”

Payton has been offered to play in the 2022 Gridiron Football All-American Bowl game that will be played in Orange Beach on Dec 20th.

When did you start playing football? I started playing in third grade. I played here in Iota for a rec team. My older brother played and I wanted to play, also, because I watched it on TV and knew this was the sport I wanted to play.

What is your best aspect as a football player? Having the toughest mentality on the field. I always want o be the best at whatever I am doing.

Can you talk about the leadership you bring to the team? I am a vocal leader. I am the guy that is going give you max effort. I help the incoming freshmen with the drills and help them learn the game of football. I am also very involved in the community with the veterans day. I help my community by putting out flags throughout my town. Sometimes I facetime with my teammates to help them with their homework or if they are having trouble in class. They know that they can call me anytime and I will help them.

What is your personal goal for this season? Make first team All-District, record 5 interceptions, and 30 or more tackles. This past offseason I worked out everyday and was able to gain 15 pounds. I also took my teammates to the field to do 1 on 1’s everyday this past spring. I worked a lot with Owen Harmon, before he left to play for Grambling.

What motivates you? I love everything about the game. From an early age, I loved going to the games with my dad and watching them on TV. Today I love the crisp fall air, the sweat during practice, the nine months of work it takes to play the game and the enjoyment with my team, friends, and family after a big win.

Football aside, who is your biggest role model or someone you look up to? My dad, he teaches me how to do “all things right, all the time.” He has been very active in my sports life, he was my coach in basketball, baseball, and football. He is my biggest cheerleader and biggest mentor. He has taught me that you have to outwork everyone.

Are there any current college or NFL players that you might look up to and study their film? Jalen Ramsey, I watch his film and study his reads, his first step, and his jams. I think he is a great cornerback in the NFL, so I try to model my playing style after him.

What are some of your hobbies? Fish, hang out with friends, and workout

What separates you from the thousands of other recruits trying to play college football. I am 10x mentally stronger than everyone else. What that means is that I play with heart. It means more to me than anything. I bring a ton of energy to the team. I know when to bring the spark to practice and to the game.

What is something that you would want college coaches to know about you? I am a trustworthy person. Anything that is asked of me, I will get it done.

What have you learned about yourself while playing football? I have learned that no matter how many times I get knocked down, I have to get back up and never quit.

Who has been the hardest player you have played against? Trevor Etienne, he was such an elusive person. In our game he was moved to QB and he was hard to stop. It is the first real on my highlight where I had an open field tackle on him. I had to get off my block to make the stop.