What We Heard: Payton Page

What We Heard: Payton Page

Football

What We Heard: Payton Page

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Clemson defensive tackle Payton Page spoke to the media on Monday to discuss his thoughts on the game against La. Tech and the game coming up this weekend against Wake Forest.

A common theme throughout Page’s interview related to his weight. Coming into Clemson, Page started at 395 pounds, and now he is sitting at 315 pounds.

When asked if Page was always that big, he immediately shook his head.

“[The pandemic] really messed me up since I couldn’t play, so I gained so much weight,” he said. “Basically, it was all video games and Doordash since I couldn’t really go outside. But when I got here, I got humbled really fast and lost all that weight.”

When Page stepped on the scale for the first time once getting to Clemson, he was in awe of the number he saw.

“I hadn’t weighed myself since junior year [of high school], so when I got here and weighed in, it was a big shock,” he said.

Page was not the only one who was astonished by what the scale read—now-former defensive tackles coach Todd Bates was equally as shocked when seeing that number.

Bates, now at Oklahoma, thought Page would be about 350-pounds, so he hammered down on Page and told him that he would not see the field until he shaved off some weight. 

Bates was persistent with getting Page to a size where he could do his job defensively, but also have the agility to keep up with his opponents. He also told Page he needed to follow a strict diet, which tested Page physically, mentally, and emotionally.

“My diet [consisted of] two grilled chicken salads per day with two chicken patties every day for about three months,” he said. “It was really hard to stay on [track], but I fought through it, and now I’m very comfortable with where I’m at.”

The hardest part for Page throughout this transformation was not being able to eat at The Bistro with the rest of the football team.

“After practice, you either turn left to where all the food is or turn right to go to the salad bar,” Page said. “I never got to turn left. I got a salad and walked out the door because I couldn’t stand watching other people eat.”

When asked how it felt to start and make an impact last weekend in the game against La Tech, Page said he had been preparing for that moment for a long time.

“I knew my time was coming, so I had to make the most of it,” he said.

With fellow defensive tackles Bryan Bresee and Tyler Davis being out of the game this past weekend and with the injuries stacking up on the defensive end, it is likely that Page will be seeing some more reps in the coming games as well.

Speaking of Bresee, when reporters asked Page how he would approach being around his fellow defensive tackle after the passing of Bresee’s sister, Ella, this past Thursday, Page said he would be there for Bresee with open arms.

“I’m going to keep him up like always and make sure he’s never [feeling] down. I just want to keep a smile on his face,” Page said.

Regarding the game this weekend against Wake Forest, Page seemed excited to travel back to his home state of North Carolina and play 30 minutes down the road from his hometown of Greensboro.

“I haven’t been home in a long time, so I feel like this game could have a big impact,” he said.

Hopefully, Page will be able to make his Greensboro natives proud by making more key contributions on the defensive end this weekend and throughout the remainder of the season.

Dear Old Clemson is excited to announce a limited edition football and poster signed by Clemson’s Avengers.

Now there is a new way you can support Clemson student-athletes. Purchase collectibles from Dear Old Clemson and the proceeds with go to support Clemson student-athletes. Visit Dear Old Clemson to find out how you can help!

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