Rod Payne

Rod Payne

Infobox NFL player

DateOfBirth=birth date and age|1974|6|14
Career Highlights=Y
Honors=1996 All-American
1996 Michigan Captain
1996 Michigan Team MVP
Retired #s=
teams=Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens (practice squad)
HOFYear =

Rod Payne (born June 14, 1974 in Miami, Florida) is a former professional American football center who was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. [cite web|url=|title=1997 Cincinnati Bengals|accessdate=2007-11-26|] He is also a former All-American center who played for the University of Michigan Michigan Wolverines football team from 1993-1996. He won a Super Bowl with the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. He has become a high school football coach and was named the 2007 South Florida Sun-Sentinel Class 3A-2A-1A Coach of the Year.cite web|url=,0,4479896.story|title=BROWARD HIGH SCHOOLS: Westminster's Rod Payne will try rebuilding Varela|accessdate=2008-03-01|date=2008-02-27|publisher=South Florida Sun-Sentinel|author=Cabrera Chirinos, Christy]


A native of city-state|Miami|Florida, Payne was an All-Dade County offensive lineman and wrestler at Killian High School.cite web|url=|title=Ransom beats Belen in boys' water polo; Yeash powers Curley|accessdate=2008-05-09|date=2008-04-19|publisher=The Miami Herald Media Company|work=Miami Herald|author=Braswell, Alexander] Payne started 40 games during his four years at the University of Michigan, including 37 consecutive games. Payne was twice named first team All Big Ten and in 1996 was named the Most Valuable Player on the Michigan team, a team co-captain (with Jarrett Irons), [cite web|url=|title=University of Michigan Football: Wolverine Football Captains|accessdate=2007-11-27|date=2007-05-25|publisher=The Regents of the University of Michigan] and a first team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. Payne was an ambidexterous center. [cite web|url=|title=University of Michigan Football All-American, 1996, Team Co-Captain, 1996: Rod Payne|accessdate=2007-11-27|date=2007-02-10|publisher=The Regents of the University of Michigan] Payne once broke his right wrist during the Michigan-Michigan State Paul Bunyan Trophy game and proceeded to snap the ball for the rest of his game with his left hand.cite news|url=|work=The Cincinnati Post|publisher=E. W. Scripps Company|title=Football with a purpose: Ex-Bengal Payne learned from game|accessdate=2007-11-27|date=2004-02-27|author=Lonnie Wheeler|last=Wheeler|first=Lonnie|archiveurl=|archivedate=2005-04-25]

Professional career

He was selected in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He was a backup with the Bengals from 1997-1998 and was released in September 1998. His playing career was shortened by numerous injuries. He sat out the 1999 NFL season and had surgery on both knees. The Bengals had released him during the 1999 season knowing he was injured, which caused Payne to file a grievance, which was settled. He signed with the Baltimore Ravens in April 2000 and was released at the end of training camp. He was signed to the Ravens' 2000 practice squad in November, [cite web|url=|title=Ravens History: All-Time Transactions|accessdate=2007-11-26|publisher=The Baltimore Ravens|date=2007] and he won a Super Bowl ring with them in Super Bowl XXXV. Over the course of his career, Payne had twelve surgeries to repair his numerous football-related injuries.

In 2006, Payne co-authored a 2006 book called "Centered by a Miracle" (Sports Publishing ,ISBN 1596701455) with his friend and sportswriter Steve Rom. The publisher describes the book as follows: "After Steve was diagnosed with leukemia, Rod left his job as co-host of a daily sports radio talk show in Ann Arbor, his first post-football career, to help rally his friend back to health. Steve's future, once again, became clear. So too, however, did the challenges that lay ahead. What ensued was a 10-month battle for survival, one that would ultimately turn these friends into brothers." [cite web|url=|title= Centered by a Miracle|publisher=# Word Of Sport Limited|accessdate=2007-11-27|date=2006] Since retiring, Rod has taught special education and been a managing partner of a health club. [cite web|url=|title=Ruby's Rap|author=Comer, Ruby|accessdate=2007-11-27|date=2005] Rod has served on the board of the Michigan Letterwinners M Club Alumni Association.

Since retiring from football, Payne has operated a shop in city-state|Ann Arbor|Michigan where he customized cars, hosted a sports talk radio show in Ann Arbor, taught special education, been a personal trainer, and served as managing partner of a gym in the Ann Arbor area area. He is also a speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Rod, who was an only child himself, is married and has one child. He was living in city-state|Boca Raton|Florida and coaching the football and wrestling teams at Westminster Academy in city-state|Fort Lauderdale|Florida.cite web|url=|title=Centered by a Miracle: A True Story of Friendship, Football and Life|accessdate=2007-11-27|, Inc.|date=2007] Payne was selected the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Class 3A-2A-1A Coach of the Year in 2007 after he led the Lions to a 7–3 record following his 1–9 first season at Westminster in 2006. In 2008, Rod will assume the head coaching duties at Felix Varela High School in city-state|Kendall|Florida after a 2007 season where they posted a 3–7 record. Varela competes in Class 6A, the largest and most competitive class.


External links

* [ Web Site for Payne's book "Centered by a Miracle"]
* [ "Reporter and 'Ultimate Teammate' on a mission," Los Angeles Times, by Larry Stewart]

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