While the recruiting process has been fun for Payton Page, the five-star defensive tackle from Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley admits he is getting a bit stressed out as he tries to make one of the biggest decisions of his life.
“They said it was going to happen, but I didn’t literally know it was going to be like this,” Page told The Clemson Insider during our Tour of Champions visit to Dudley High School to see him on Monday. “It’s getting kind of crazy, but always I’m enjoying the process as usual.”
Because the recruiting process is starting to wear on him, Page wants to wrap it up and says he will make his college decision sooner than later.
“I’m getting kind of tired of it,” he said. “But yeah, real soon, though.”
With that said, Page mentioned the possibility of taking official visits to his top five schools – Clemson, North Carolina, LSU, Tennessee and Oregon.
“I’m trying to take some official visits soon, though,” he said. “Probably my top five schools, and I’m trying to go to Oregon this summer.”
Clemson’s policy is not to host official visits in the spring, so Page would have to wait until the fall to take one to Tigertown.
Page most recently visited Clemson for its elite junior day in late January, and defensive tackles coach Todd Bates is trying to get him back on campus for the April 4 spring game.
What has been the Tigers’ recruiting pitch to Page?
“I’m the only defensive tackle they’re recruiting in my class right now,” he said. “If I do come, they always play six defensive tackles per game.”
Page’s family, especially his mother, will be an important factor in his college choice.
“Basically it’s all about family to me,” he said. “My mom, I really don’t want her driving out to somewhere real far away. And she said, ‘I don’t care where you’re at, I’m still going to be there no matter what,’ and that shows me how much she cares about me. Also, it’s really about family to me. If my family’s comfortable there, I’m comfortable there.”
Wherever he decides to play football at the next level, Page says he will be all business.
“I’m not going to say I’m not going to have fun in college, but I’m going there not to play at all,” he said. “Straight to it – I’m going to have friends, obviously – but when we touch the field, I’m fighting for my position, just straight up.”
Page is rated as a five-star recruit by the 247Sports Composite, which considers him the No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 25 overall prospect in the 2021 class.
As a junior last season, Page was credited with 71 total tackles, 26 tackles for loss and three sacks.
Spring practice is just around the corner. Get your official Clemson gear right here!