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Five-star DT says Clemson coaches offer the "most real" message


by - Senior Writer -
Page has Clemson in his top three.
Page has Clemson in his top three.

The Clemson coaching staff is offering a different message than the other schools to 5-star defensive tackle Payton Page, something that stands out to the Greensboro (NC) Dudley product.

Page released a top-3 on Thursday that has Clemson, North Carolina, and Tennessee, trimming Oregon and LSU from his last top schools list. Page picked up a Clemson offer last June.

Due to NCAA regulations and social distancing guidelines, Page hasn’t been able to take the visits he wanted to take this spring, and he’s doing whatever he can to keep busy.

“It has been really boring. Just let me put that out there,” Page told TigerNet Friday. “The workouts have changed a little bit. I don't really go to the field. Basically I just run around the neighborhood a couple of times and then lift. Every day.”

The extra time means coaches have been spending extra time calling his phone, something that prompted the top-3.

“It got out of hand. Real fast,” Page said. “UNC, Tennessee, Clemson, Auburn, LSU, and Alabama have all been calling. So I decided to put out a top-3 because of the quarantine right now. It doesn't look like I am going to be able to visit all those schools. So I wanted to narrow it down to those three schools.”

What stands out about Tennessee and North Carolina?

“With North Carolina, they have a new defensive line coach,” Page said. “And Tennessee stands out because they have a new defensive line coach, Jimmy Brumbaugh, who seems to know what he is doing, He is pretty good and I talked to him for a minute when I went up there. Distance doesn't really have anything to do with it. All of my top-3 are not that far away.”

What stands out about Clemson?

“The hospitality. 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,” he said.

When prompted for an example of the different message the Clemson coaches have to offer, Page didn’t hesitate in replying.

“You are going to have to work for your starting position. That is what they told me,” Page said. “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.”

Page is building a strong relationship with defensive line coach Todd Bates.

“We talk every other day. And it really isn't about football anymore. We have a great relationship,” he said.

Page said he wants to make a decision before his senior season, but a definitive date is on hold because he wants to visit each one of his three finalists a final time.

He tallied 71 stops, 26 for loss, with three sacks and six QB hurries as a junior. He has 55 TFLs and 13 sacks over his high school career.

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