Michigan commit Kwity Paye is a 3-star linebacker from Bishop Hendricken (R.I.).
Growing up in a rough part of Providence, R.I., Paye took us beyond the game of football to discuss his mother’s hard work and how his commitment to Michigan made it all worth it.
Every month we’ll be doing an installment of Beyond the Game. Not one question involves a player’s recruitment, football, etc. It’s all about the person, not the player.
Let’s meet Kwity Paye:
Q: What’s your favorite kind of music, and why?
Paye: “I would say rap. My favorite artist would be Chance the Rapper. I feel like he has a good message. He tells a story in most of his songs, and has a good message in all of his songs.”
Q: Pepsi or Coke?
Paye: “I would say … Pepsi.”
Q: You’re from the East Coast, so I have to assume that your favorite food is seafood. But, if not, what’s your favorite kind of food?
Paye: “I actually don’t like seafood. I’m more of a meat-and-potatoes type of a guy. I like a lot of pasta, baked potatoes. I’d say mostly Italian food.”
Q: What kind of neighborhood did you grow up in?
Paye: “It’s not a very nice environment. It’s kind of hard over here, but my family and I make the best out of it. I live in Providence, but the whole city is kind of going down, and the south part where I live is the bad part of it.
Q: What’s your funniest Jim Harbaugh story?
Paye: “After I committed to Michigan, the coaches would call and ask me how the day went. After he called to ask me how it went, there was a period of time where we were on the phone and I thought he hung up. I could still hear him breathing on the other side of the line, so it was just an awkward moment … no one said anything for a good 3 minutes.
Q: What’s your favorite movie?
Paye: “Friday Night Lights. I’ve watched the entire TV show, too.”
Q: How long could you go without talking?
Paye: “I could probably go a long time. I’m a pretty shy guy. If you know me, I keep to myself a lot.”
Q: What’s your dream sandwich?
Paye: “A burger with four patties, cheese, pepperoni, bacon, mozzarella, jalapeno … that’s about it.”
Q: What’s your greatest achievement?
Paye: “Getting an offer from Michigan.”
Q: Outside of football, what do you want to do when you grow up?
Paye: “A firefighter. I always wanted to help people, and I originally wanted to be a cop. But I’m not comfortable with guns, and the current situation going on with police right now.”
Q: Do you have any takes on the social issues surrounding cops and the black community right now?
Paye: “When I see the stuff on the news, it obviously doesn’t look right. I feel like we all need to come together as one, and just accept each other for who we are. Because we are one nation, with other religions and races. We’re all equal, and I say we accept each other for who we are.”
Q: Who is the most influential, and most important, person in your life?
Paye: “My mom. The reason why I say that is that the school I go to (the No. 1 school in Rhode Island) is a private Catholic school across the state. It cost around $15,000 to go there. I hardly see my mom. She works three jobs – two full-time jobs on a normal day and one on the weekends. I see her work hard, pay the bills and do what she has to do to take care of this family without complaining. She just wants me to be successful in life. That’s the reason why I do what I do now … to make her happy.”
Q: Kwity … I’ve never heard that name before. What’s the story behind why you’re named Kwity?
Paye: “I was named after my grandfather. After my grandfather died, I was born right after, and my mom just named me after him.”
Paye is the first player from Rhode Island to commit to Michigan with a full scholarship in the past 20-plus years.
A local news station in Rhode Island brought Paye on to discuss his commitment to Michigan when it happened, and the story focused on the history he made for high school prospects from the state.
The Providence native will be playing a mix of linebacker/defensive end in Ann Arbor next season.