Jaden Payoute arrived at Virginia Tech in 2019 with high expectations. A four-star wide receiver from Lloyd C. Bird High School in Chesterfield, Virginia, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Payoute had coaches and fans excited from the moment he stepped on campus.
Sadly, Payoute’s football career at Virginia Tech is over after three seasons. Payoute took to Twitter Tuesday to announce he was taking a medical disqualification, ending his football career at Virginia Tech.
After lengthy conversations with my family and coaches, as well as many hours of prayer, I have made the difficult decision to take a medical disqualification and conclude my football career at Virginia Tech. I will be forever grateful to Coach Fuente and his staff for recruiting me and giving me an opportunity to pursue my dream of playing for the Hokies. The last 18 months have been exceedingly difficult for me and I believe the best thing for my long-term mental and physical health is to walk away from the game. I appreciate Coach Pry, Coach Mines, my teammates and so many other individuals at Virginia Tech for supporting me in this decision.
Payoute appeared in four games as a freshman in 2019 before redshirting. He missed the entire 2020 season after injuring his ankle and needing surgery in fall camp. Expectations were still high for Payoute entering 2021. He would appear in seven games last season, with his only college reception coming in the Pinstripe Bowl loss to Maryland. Payoute caught a 42-yard pass from Connor Blumrick, displaying the potential that excited Hokie fans.
Payoute will remain at Virginia Tech to complete his degree.
Thank you Hokie Nation for the endless love and support. Will always be a Hokie forever #4704 pic.twitter.com/MYQ2T6lsh0— Jaden Payoute (@JJPayoute_1) March 29, 2022
After losing Payoute, the Hokies have just five experienced options at wide receiver. Transfers Jadan Blue and Stephen Gosnell, Kaleb Smith, Da’Wain Lofton and Jaylen Jones. Blue transferred from Temple and is expected to serve as Tech’s top receiver in 2022. Gosnell came from North Carolina and is the older brother of 2022 recruit, Benji Gosnell.
Smith is an excellent blocker who catches everything thrown his way; he just doesn’t receive many opportunities. Lofton and Jones were promising freshmen in 2021 who will see a more prominent role this fall.
With new offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen in charge, you’ll likely see the tight ends featured more moving forward.
We wish nothing but the best for Jaden Payoute in the future. Once a Hokie, always a Hokie.