Mississippi State football wide receiver JaVonta Payton enters NCAA transfer portal

Tyler Horka
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

STARKVILLE – Three days after catching two passes for 29 yards in Mississippi State's spring football game, senior wide receiver JaVonta Payton entered the NCAA transfer portal. 

Payton appeared in 22 games with five starts at Mississippi State. The Nashville native went to Hillsboro High before spending the first two years of his college career at Northwest Mississippi Community College. 

SHINING IN THE SPRING:5 players who stood out for Mike Leach in Mississippi State football spring game

NOT SATISFIED:Why Mike Leach called Mississippi State football's spring game 'below average'

Mississippi State wide receiver JaVonta Payton (0) reacts after a touchdown during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Arkansas in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.

Payton's production increased slightly from 2019 to 2020. He went from nine catches for 147 yards to 19 catches for 225 yards and a touchdown. It still was not enough to keep him around in Starkville, especially with the addition of transfer Makai Polk from Cal. 

Polk saw more action than Payton in the spring game, hauling in two catches for 41 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. Payton was only targeted three times. 

Eleven different wide receivers, plus two running backs, had more receiving yards than Payton in the spring game. Mississippi State will be led by Jaden Walley, depending on the severity of the knee injury he sustained in the first quarter, Austin Williams, Polk, Lideatrick Griffin, Malik Heath and a handful of others in the receiving game. 

Contact Tyler Horka at thorka@gannett.com. Follow @tbhorka on Twitter. To read more of Tyler's work, subscribe to the Clarion Ledger today!