Former Nevada High star quarterback Payne garners prestigious accolades
Iowa Wesleyan University senior quarterback Alex Payne recently netted the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Academic All-Conference Award. To receive the accolade, a student-athlete must maintain a 3.5 grade point average or higher for the current semester. Payne, who concluded the semester with a 4.0 GPA, has received the honor for football all four years of his collegiate career. Also a first baseman at IWU, Payne, in addition, has received academic all-conference accolades three consecutive years in baseball, and has his sights set on a fourth this semester.
Payne has also garnered Academic All-American honors the past two years, and is looking to cap his college career with a third straight. Payne was unable to receive that honor his first year at IWU, as freshman are not eligible for the accolade. Payne is also a Presidential Scholar, requiring a cumulative 3.80 GPA or higher.
“I’m not sure how much this means to me,” Payne told the Daily Mail. “I’ve always felt this is what’s expected of me in the classroom. Going to class, doing my homework, turning things in on time. Those are things coaches shouldn’t have to worry about with their athletes.”
Added Payne: “It would be a bigger disappointment to not make it, because that would mean I wasn’t taking care of business in the classroom. My parents have sacrificed too much for me to mess around, so I’m glad I was able to accomplish this for them. I’m definitely thankful for my parents.”
Payne noted that his parents, Marty and Melissa of Richards, have not missed an Iowa Wesleyan home game in the four seasons he has been a member of the team.
Payne, who appeared in all 10 games this season for Iowa Wesleyan, was the starting quarterback for Nevada High School from his sophomore through senior campaigns — graduating in the spring of 2014 . Payne was at the helm for Nevada’s most successful two-year stretch in recent memory, as the Tigers compiled a 14-7 record during his sophomore and junior seasons, and No. 1 district seed in 2012.
Payne’s prep accolades include: Four-year varsity letterman in football and baseball; two-time recipient of the Sportsmanship Award; Kelly Bradham Newcomer of the Year Award (2010); two-time All Southwest Conference quarterback; First-team All-District quarterback (2013); member of the winningest NHS baseball team in program history; and the third winningest QB in program history. Payne has also received the conference Sportsmanship Award at Iowa Wesleyan.
Alex’s sister, Megan, a 2016 graduate of Nevada High School, was a standout basketball player. Payne, who is set to graduate in the spring from Iowa Wesleyan, located in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is pursuing a double major in Biology and Pre-med, and a minor in chemistry.