Kwity Paye
refer to caption
Paye with Michigan in 2018
No. 51 – Indianapolis Colts
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1998-11-19) November 19, 1998 (age 24)
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
High school:Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, Rhode Island)
College:Michigan (2017–2020)
NFL Draft:2021 / Round: 1 / Pick: 21
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 9, 2022
Total tackles:56
Forced fumbles:1
Fumble recoveries:2
Pass deflections:1
Player stats at · PFR

Kwity Paye (/ˈkwɪti ˈp/ KWIT-ee PAY; born November 19, 1998) is an American football defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). Of Liberian heritage, he was born in Guinea as a refugee of the First Liberian Civil War and emigrated to the United States as a baby. Paye played college football at Michigan and was drafted by the Colts in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Early years

Paye was born on November 19, 1998, to a Liberian Krahn mother in a refugee camp in Guinea in the aftermath of the First Liberian Civil War.[1][2][3][4] Named Kwity after his maternal grandfather, who was killed during the war, his mother brought him and his brother Komotay to Providence, Rhode Island in the United States when he was six months old.[5][6]

He and his brother found an affinity for American football growing up there, with Kwity later attending Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick, Rhode Island.[5] Playing running back and defensive end, he was named Rhode Island's Gatorade Football Player of the Year as a senior in 2016.[7] Paye originally committed to play college football at Boston College, but later switched to the University of Michigan.[5][8]

College career

As a true freshman at Michigan in 2017, Paye played in nine games and had five tackles and one sack. As a sophomore in 2018, he started four games and recorded 29 tackles and two sacks.[9] As a junior he started 11 games and finished with 50 tackles and 6.5 sacks.[10] Paye returned to Michigan for his senior year in 2020 but only played in four games due to the season being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]

Collegiate statistics
Year GP Tackles Fumbles
Solo Ast Total Loss Sack FR FF
2017 2 0 4 4 1.5 1 0 0
2018 10 21 6 27 5.5 2 0 1
2019 12 26 24 50 12.5 6.5 0 0
2020 4 12 4 16 4 2 0 0
Career 28 59 38 97 23.5 11.5 0 1

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2+12 in
(1.89 m)
261 lb
(118 kg)
33 in
(0.84 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.52 s 1.54 s 2.61 s 6.37 s 35+12 in
(0.90 m)
9 ft 10 in
(3.00 m)
36 reps
All values from Michigan's Pro Day[12]

Paye was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round (21st overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft.[13] He signed his four-year rookie contract on May 6, 2021.[14]


  1. ^ Grossman, Hallie (April 24, 2021). "Meet the NFL draft's most extraordinary prospect, Kwity Paye". Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  2. ^ "Born in a refugee camp, Michigan commit Kwity Paye now living his dream". mlive. January 20, 2017.
  3. ^ "An incredible journey for Bishop Hendricken's Kwity Paye". December 18, 2015.
  4. ^ Sang, Orion. "Kwity Paye escaped civil war. Now he stars for Michigan football". Detroit Free Press.
  5. ^ a b c Kwity Paye has come further than most in his journey to Michigan (Video). College GameDay. October 31, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  6. ^ Sang, Orion. "Kwity Paye escaped civil war. Now he stars for Michigan football". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  7. ^ Reports, Journal Staff. "Kwity Paye named Gatorade R.I. Football player of the year".
  8. ^ Koch, Bill. "Hendricken football star Kwity Paye commits to Michigan".
  9. ^ "Kwity Paye ready to step up at DE for Michigan". mlive. December 26, 2018.
  10. ^ Chengelis, Angelique S. "'I'm playing': Michigan's Kwity Paye resolute about tackling 2020 season despite COVID risk". The Detroit News.
  11. ^ Sang, Orion. "Michigan football DE Kwity Paye returning for senior season". Detroit Free Press.
  12. ^ "Kwity Paye Put On A Show At Michigan's Pro Day This Morning".
  13. ^ "Colts Select Defensive End Kwity Paye With 21st Pick In NFL Draft". April 29, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  14. ^ Stankevitz, JJ (May 6, 2021). "Colts Sign 5 2021 NFL Draft Picks". Retrieved May 7, 2021.