The Clemson Tigers have had their share of bumps in the recruiting road for the 2021 cycle with the decommitments of Korey Foreman and Jordan Hancock. However those bumps in the road were smoothed out significantly Tuesday, as they picked up a commitment from four-star defensive tackle Payton Page—the nation's seventh-best defensive tackle, according to 247Sports.
The 6-foot-4, 340-pound Page is an immediate impact player for the Tigers, reminding many around the recruiting world of former Tiger Dexter Lawrence.
Page becomes the 14th commitment for the Tigers 2021 class, and bumps the Tigers from No. 9 in 247's recruiting rankings to No. 4 overall.
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Frame: A wide, yet well-distributed 6-foot-4 frame can carry 330 pounds well. Will have the chance to trim while getting stronger at the next level.
Athleticism: Quicker than his frame suggests, Page can gather and replace better than most his size and holds his own off of the football as well as laterally. The same can be said for his closing speed in short areas although his game is still mostly founded in the power department.
Instincts: Page has a great feel for coming off of his initial angle on a rush. He knows when to push and settle relative to his responsibility and can impact a drive in both elements. He gets on top of the blocker off of the snap and typically works from within his frame.
Polish: A physical force with developing technique, Page split double teams en route to 29 stops behind the line of scrimmage as a junior anyway. A wide base allows him to anchor with leverage and hold the point. He overwhelms blockers one-on-one so the counter game features strong hands and efficient power moves in his limited repertoire. At the prep level he is simply bigger and stronger than the opposition.
Bottom Line: Page is a classic interior trenchman with staying power against the core of an offensive line. He can control the point of attack and push the pocket at will, the type of force that commands double teams and allows for the rest of the front seven to flourish. Still finding a way to get his, he has the chance to develop into a dominant force once his polish and pass-rushing ability improves.