Homegrown Gophers Transfer Pharrel Payne Commits to Texas A&M

Pharrel Payne, Minnesota Gophers, Texas A&M
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball team lost a surprise player to the transfer portal on Tuesday, in assist machine, Elijah Hawkins. But he wasn’t the only shocker of the offseason. The first surprise transfer announcement that rocked Dinkytown was Cottage Grove’s own, Pharrel Payne.

Former Minnesota Gophers big man, Pharrel Payne, chooses Texas A&M

On Tuesday, Payne made his decision, announcing his transfer to Texas A&M, a school notorious for its extreme levels of NIL cash flow for both its football and basketball programs.

Payne is a classic collegiate big man, who loves to bang down low, but also has a gracefulness about him that most dudes his size just do not have. As a sophomore, he averaged 10.1 points and 6.1 rebounds, in 23.3 minutes per game.

He’s the type of big man that every good team needs; a guy who can dominate a post matchup, when asked, but can also eat every night out, even without an offensive game plan in place to get him the basketball. And because of that, the 6-figure NIL offers piled up, following his transfer portal entry.

Related: Minnesota Gophers Basketball NIL Budget Revealed

With the Gophers, Payne was quickly on his way to becoming one of the best big men in the Big Ten conference. Now, we’ll see if he can repeat that in the SEC for his new squad in College Station. If nothing else, his pockets will be a lot fatter.

To replace Payne, head coach Ben Johnson and the Minnesota Gophers turned to the transfer portal, as well, where they plucked Canisius big man, Frank Mitchell, who’s NIL ineligible, due to his international visa status (Canada).

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