5-star, nation’s top DT recaps return visit to Clemson

5-star, nation’s top DT recaps return visit to Clemson


5-star, nation’s top DT recaps return visit to Clemson


Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley five-star defensive lineman Payton Page traveled to Clemson on Saturday for the second time this season.

After attending the Texas A&M game in September, the nation’s top-ranked D-tackle in the 2021 class was back in Death Valley for the Tigers’ 52-3 win over Wake Forest.

“Good,” Page told The Clemson Insider when asked how Saturday’s visit went. “It was real fun like always. I love the atmosphere.”

A lot of Clemson’s 2020 commitments were on campus for their official visits, and Page got to meet some of them.

He also spent time with a number of staff members, including defensive tackles coach Todd Bates, defensive coordinator Brent Venables and head man Dabo Swinney.

“When I come up there, we don’t really talk so much about football,” Page said. “I just come up there to spend time with them, that’s all. We don’t talk about football anymore, we just talk about life and how I’m doing and stuff like that.”

Page also had an opportunity to catch up with former Clemson and current New York Giants rookie defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, who was on hand for Saturday’s game at Memorial Stadium with the Giants having a bye week.

Page has built a relationship with Lawrence since they first met at Clemson last year and sees Lawrence as a brother figure.

“I talk to him all the time,” Page said. “I was asking him about some techniques and stuff like that … Now I just look to him like a big bro.”

Last month, Page trimmed his list of 30-plus offers down to 11 schools: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

Page said Georgia and UNC are the only schools he has visited this season besides Clemson. The 6-foot-4, 315-pound junior is still looking to make his decision during his senior year.

Asked what he likes most about Clemson as one of his college options, Page pointed to the way he feels when he is there.

“How they treat me like family,” he said.

Page is considered the No. 1 defensive tackle and No. 5 overall prospect in the 2021 class by the 247Sports Composite rankings, while Rivals ranks him as the top DT in the class as well.

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