One of the top prospects in the 2021 class regardless of position is Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley five-star defensive tackle Payton Page.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound junior saw opposing teams devote a lot of attention to trying to slow him down this season.
“I got double-, triple-teamed a lot,” Page told The Clemson Insider. “My sophomore year, a lot of people didn’t know my name, and this year it just got crazy and I just got triple-teamed. I couldn’t really do a lot. But I really need work on getting off the ball, work on my double-teams.”
Page is also one of Clemson’s top targets for the 2021 recruiting cycle. The Tigers offered him this past summer and continue to recruit him hard.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables and defensive tackles coach Todd Bates recently stopped by Dudley to check on Page.
“It means a lot,” he said of the coaches paying him a visit. “I’m used to it now … but that’s really cool.”
Page stays in frequent contact with Bates and described their relationship as “real strong.”
“We don’t really talk about football anymore,” he said. “We just talk about life in general.”
Page visited Clemson twice this season for the Texas A&M game in September and the Wake Forest game in November. He plans to return to Tigertown again in the offseason but isn’t sure exactly when he will make it back to campus.
“I don’t know. I’ve got to ask my mom and dad,” he said. “Probably soon, though.”
Page’s parents have accompanied him to Clemson in the past, and according to Page, they have fallen in love with the Tigers.
“They love that school,” he said. “They love how they treat them like family every time we go up there.”
Clemson remains a strong contender for Page, who feels like part of the “Clemson Family” when he is on campus as well.
“Great D-line program and a good education program, and lastly they always treat me like family,” Page said when asked what he likes most about Clemson.
Page said he still plans to make his decision during his senior year. Other than Clemson, he feels North Carolina is pursuing him the hardest right now.
Page is ranked as a top-10 national prospect in the 2021 class by both 247Sports (No. 6 overall) and ESPN (No. 9).
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