Eastside’s Payton Mangrum surprised with scholarship

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 11:52 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The ultimate goal of every high school athlete is to be play college football. Getting that scholarship opportunity is a challenge. Former Eastside legend Payton Mangrum has put in countless hours and it’s finally paid off.

USC walk-on Payton Mangrum is known for his hard work.

“They just saw me as someone that took pride in the game of football and played hard,” Payton Mangrum, South Carolina receiver, said. “That’s one thing that you can ask for a player. If you play hard, loves the game, it’s going to show.”

And the former Eastside product finally received recognition for his hard work.

“It feels good to be appreciated.” Mangrum said.

It came as a surprise.

“I had no idea.” Mangrum said.

“Just continue to work and continue to get better and improve on that one percent,” Shane Beamer, USC head coach, said. “Because that’s what Payton Mangrum continues to do. He continues to work. But one thing he will not continue to do is pay for your education.”

Mangrum was given a scholarship.

 And his teammates couldn’t have been more happy.

“Honestly, they had a better reaction than me,” Mangrum said. “Like for me it was more of a relief thing. For them it was like, like you deserve this. Like you that’s what like where you earned this, like you deserve this. But, for them to say that, It just means a lot.”

The best moment was telling mom and dad.

“That’s a burden off them,” Mangrum said. “So, to see them that real. Like, people were like were you emotional about it? And I really wasn’t. But, when I saw my parents reaction, that’s the only reason I was slightly emotional. Because I know it means a lot to them.”

After the cheers subsided, Mangrum was reminded of the days in high school, where he fought for recognition. The community was happy to see one of their own succeed.

“What people don’t realize I didn’t have any scholarship offers coming out of high school,” Mangrum said. “People that kept up with me, they knew it. Any kid from the area that texts me or DMs me, I always answer it. Because I know what it’s like to be in their position.”

Mangrum was given the scholarship through the Jake Panus Walk-On Football Endowed Scholarship.