Payton Page: "I really felt comfortable at Clemson"


by - Senior Writer -
Page gives Clemson three commitments from the state of North Carolina.
Page gives Clemson three commitments from the state of North Carolina.

Clemson continues to exude a healthy presence on the recruiting front in the state of North Carolina.

Four-star defensive tackle Payton Page committed to the Tigers Tuesday afternoon during a ceremony in Greensboro. Page chose Clemson over his other two finalists – UNC and Tennessee – and said it was all about his comfort level after saying it came down to the Tigers and the Tar Heels.

“I really felt comfortable at Clemson. The most comfortable I’ve ever felt,” Page said. “I made the decision two days ago. It was basically Clemson and UNC. They just treat me differently from other schools because schools will usually say one thing and they don’t mean it. But I trust Clemson in what they are saying. You are going to have to work for your starting position.

“That is what they told me. That is the most real thing I’ve heard yet. Talking to some other schools, they tell me that I have a starting position right out of the gate. I know that is a lie. I know there is another dude that y’all have over there that knows the plays and is going to be more qualified at that position before I get there. And then y’all are not going to let me work for it? That doesn’t make any sense.”

He also loves Clemson’s run of success.

“I love their winning history, especially the history of some of their D-line going to the NFL,” Page said. “I also like the vibe that Clemson has. I always felt at home. And the relationships that I have built with the coaches. Clemson has a great atmosphere and I always felt a part of the Clemson family when I went. Coach Dabo, coach Venables, and coach Bates are a great winning combination.”

Page becomes Clemson's third acquisition from the state of North Carolina for this cycle, joining four-star running back Will Shipley of Matthews and defensive end Zaire Patterson out of Winston-Salem.

“Like I said before, I just felt more comfortable at Clemson than I did at UNC,” he said.

Where does he fit in with Brent Venables’ defense?

“All over the place,” Page said. “One (technique), two, three or four, or even zero.”

Defensive tackles coach Todd Bates also played a big role in landing Page.

“He is like another father to me,” Page said. “That is how close we are. Coach Bates and Coach Venables are cool dudes, but I can tell when you hit that field they mean business. 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?

“Coach Bates is the one I have the closest relationship with. He is very encouraging and motivating. He answers any questions that I need answered and he acts like he really cares about me and my family. Coach Venables is all energy every time we talk, but says good motivating stuff too.”

As a junior, Page was credited with 80 tackles, eight sacks and 26 tackles for loss.

He becomes Clemson’s 14th commitment for the class, including the 12th pledge to rate as a four-star or higher by the network.

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