PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ He was expected to be one of the top defensive players in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision this fall, but Kwity Paye and his University of Michigan teammates still remain on the sidelines after the Big Ten conference decided in August to cancel the season.
The former Hendricken All-American was hoping to show off all of the hard work he completed this off season as he prepared for his senior year with the Wolverines.
“It just sucks because reading up on last season and all the stuff I had to improve on, and all the stuff I was lacking,” Paye said. “This off season I felt like I really worked hard and perfected my craft and made sure I got better in those traits I lacked so, for them to cancel our season is a bummer because of all the hard work we had put in.”
Three of the Power Five football conferences will begin play over the next two weekends and the Big Ten’s decision to not to play this fall drew the attention of President Donald Trump this week, who spoke on Monday with Kevin Warren, the conference’s commissioner.
A preseason watch-list pick for the Nagurski and Bednarik awards, Paye is being projected as a 1st-round pick in the NFL Draft, whether he plays for Michigan this season or decides to focus on preparing for the Combine.
It’s a dream come true scenario for the Providence native.
“It’s for sure cool coming from a small state, like looking up to people, there’s not a lot to look up to,” Paye said. “Like I looked up to Will Blackmon but at the same time when I was growing up when I said I wanted to go to the NFL, people were like, ‘Oh, that’s never going to happen, you should think of some other dreams.’ And now that I’m almost there I could basically touch it, it’s surreal but at the same time, I gotta stay humble and continue to work. Because if I let all that stuff get into my head, the work ethic goes away and my head gets big and I start believing the hype, and stuff like that. So I just have to stay grounded and continue to work.”