Elite DT out of North Carolina recaps "awesome" weekend Clemson visit

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by - Senior Writer -
Page poses with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney
Page poses with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney

One of the top defensive tackles for the 2021 recruiting cycle stopped in Clemson this past weekend.

Payton Page is a 6-4, 295-pound prospect out of Greensboro (NC) Dudley who already boasts offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio St., and Penn St. among others. Page has been taking visits to some of his top schools this spring and dropped in to see Clemson Friday.

“The visit at Clemson was great. I really liked how Coach (Miguel) Chavis and Coach Ty (Tyler Clements) were there to guide me my family and my friend Elijah from the beginning till the end of my visit. The experience was detailed, and I am grateful to have had it.”

What is he looking for in a school?

“Academically, I am looking for what academic support programs are available to student-athletes at that school,” Page said. “As well as a great Broadcast Journalism program. Football wise I am looking for a great coaching staff that will continue to push me as my Dudley coaches do. I am also looking for a team that has that family feeling because I will be spending so much of my time with them.”

Page is already building a rapport with defensive coordinator Brent Venables and defensive tackles coach Todd Bates.

“Coach Bates and Coach Venables are cool dudes, but I can tell when you hit that field they mean business,” he said. “They both were still hype about the draft the night before. Which we understood. The message I got from them both was really what everyone that I met has said, ‘I won’t just leave Clemson a better football player but everything they are going to teach me will help me to be a better man.’ Because If I am fortunate to make it to the pros, what will 30 (years) look like after the pros?”

Page also spent time with head coach Dabo Swinney, including a 1-on-1 conversation in Swinney’s office.

“Coach Swinney is so cool. He got to meet my mom, because she didn’t come last time,” Page said. “He also was still excited from the news of the draftm which was understandable. His message was keep doing what you doing and we will see you soon.”

Page has yet to draw a Clemson offer, but said Clemson is one of the four schools recruiting him the hardest. He also said a few things stand out about the Tigers.

“I think a couple of things are intriguing the – PAW Journey is one,” Page said. “Passionate About Winning, and not just on the field but in life. Also the people - everyone has the same message but seemed sincere. The time they took with us both days without complaining to show us everything from the academics building to the stadium. The visit was awesome.”

Page said he plans to return to Clemson in June for Swinney’s high school camp.

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