As Nebraska football continues a busy week, there was an interesting development to be had on Friday morning. Outside linebacker Pheldarius Payne withdrew his name from the transfer portal. He was no longer in the portal as of Friday morning.
Payne had 19 total tackles in 2021, including two sacks. His best game statistically came against Illinois in the opener. He recorded five total tackles and two sacks on the day. He also had a couple of other nice games this season, recording four tackles against Northwestern and Purdue.
Payne originally put his name in the portal on December 6.
His return is certainly a welcome one. It gives Nebraska another veteran presence at outside linebacker. That position could be a source of strength next season for the Huskers, as young pieces such as Garrett Nelson looks to build off what he did in 2021.
When you look at how much talent Nebraska football lost on defense, Payne’s return could prove to be important. Having another veteran player on that side of the football could help. Nebraska definitely has a lot of talent defensively, but they do not have a lot of experience in some spots. Payne is probably not going to be an All-American, but his return does add some stability at the linebacker position.
There are so many names in the transfer portal, and as result sometimes the grass is not always greener. I’m happy that Payne was able to come back. Especially when you look at how he developed last season, I certainly think there’s a chance for continued growth. It’s a smart move to return on his part, as he could be an important piece at outside linebacker next year.