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After receiving heavy attention in the transfer portal, former Gophers big man Pharrel Payne found a new home Tuesday with his commitment to Texas A&M.

The 6-9, 255-pound sophomore entered the portal a month ago after initially expressing excitement about being back with the Gophers with a talented core.

He was the first of six players to request a transfer since the end of the regular season. But Payne and point guard Elijah Hawkins appeared to be looking for more lucrative name, image and likeness (NIL) opportunities. Hawkins entered the transfer portal Monday after saying he would stay with the Gophers.

Payne is the third player transferring from the Gophers to commit this spring, including Joshua Ola-Joseph (California) and Isaiah Ihnen (Liberty).

Payne, who also visited Indiana, led the Gophers in blocks (44) for the second straight season and improved his scoring (10.0), rebounding (6.0) and minutes (23.4) per game from his freshman year.

The Gophers lost Payne in the frontcourt, but they're expected to return leading scorer and rebounder Dawson Garcia, senior Parker Fox and redshirt freshman Kadyn Betts.

They also signed Canisius big man Frank Mitchell, who is expected to replace Payne inside. Mitchell ranked fourth in the nation in rebounding.