GREENSBORO, N.C. – Dudley High School (Greensboro, N.C.) five-star defensive tackle Payton Page celebrated his birthday Friday night and got a nice present – a 40-6 victory over South Iredell (Statesville, N.C.).
The Clemson Insider attended the game at Dudley High as part of our Tour of Champions and caught up with Page – one of Clemson’s top targets in the 2021 class – about the big win and more.
“It feels good,” Page said following the contest. “We’re about to go celebrate right now. It just feels good.”
Clemson defensive tackles coach Todd Bates traveled to Dudley High to see Page, the No. 1 defensive tackle and No. 5 overall prospect in the class of 2021 according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Page was extra motivated to play hard with a coach from the defending national champs looking on.
“It was crazy,” Page said of Bates coming to watch him play. “When I first looked over to the sideline, my coach was like, ‘Clemson is right there.’ I was like, ‘Oh, gotta turn up now.’”
Page (6-4, 315) made an unofficial visit to Clemson on Sept. 7, when the Tigers defeated Texas A&M 24-10 at Death Valley.
“It was good,” Page said of the visit. “The environment, the atmosphere was crazy… I loved it.”
While on campus, Page had a chance to spend some personal time with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
“Coach Swinney, he’s a good guy,” Page said. “He’s not so serious. He just has fun with it.”
Clemson extended an offer to Page in June, joining the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State and others on his lengthy offer list.
Page said he doesn’t have any other visits planned right now, and that he is looking to make his decision at the “beginning of [his] senior year” in 2020.
What appeals to Page the most when he looks at Clemson as one of his college choices?
“They just treat me like family over there,” he said. “They treat my family like family. That’s what I like.”
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