Updated: Jul 28
Tuesday is commitment day for one of the Tar Heels three remaining targets at defensive tackle, as in-state 4✮ prospect Payton Page will make his destination known. The Greensboro, NC native will pick between Carolina, Clemson and Tennessee, a top three that he released back in mid-April.
Clemson has been the favorite for Page for since the beginning and heading into his commitment, they are the still the perceived favorite as of right now. As of Monday morning, the Tigers hold all seven of the crystal ball predictions from both the 247Sports and Rivals experts. There have been some rumors that the Tigers coaching staff has asked Page to move to the offensive side of the football and if they are, that could open the door. As of right now, though, those rumors have yet to be confirmed and the belief is that Clemson is still solidly in control here.
The Tar Heels have become the clear challengers to the Tigers over the past week. Rumors began last Monday that Page and the Tar Heel staff have remained in contact and as of right now, there seem to be some legs to these rumors as we sit within 24 hours of his commitment. It seems that Page's family has also remained in constant contact with the staff, maybe even more so than he has himself and that the close vicinity of Carolina to the Greensboro could be playing a role here. As we've seen so far in this hectic 2021 recruiting cycle, things can change in a matter of minutes, so you better believe that the Tar Heels will be attempting to make a push until the moment he is set to announce. However, as of Tuesday morning, it appears Clemson will be able to hold off the late charge from the Tar Heels and land Page's commitment.
The Tar Heels appear to be doing everything they can to cause a sudden change of heart here and believe or not, there actually might be a chance that it could happen. If this does go the way the way of Clemson, which has now become the firm expectation heading into the announcement, the Tar Heels would be left with Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins and Tyleik Williams as targets at the defensive tackle spot that is a position of need in this class. Unfortunately, the rumors have said that the Tar Heels have reportedly backed off of Williams at this time, although the recent release of a top schools list that involved the Tar Heels might be enough to contradict that theory, and Ingram-Dawkins, while he seems closely tied to the Tar Heels on social media is hard to have much confidence in at this time because of how his recruitment has gone to this point. The hectic last minute push for Page might be another sign that the Tar Heels are not really confident with where they stand with those guys at this time. The good news is that if the Tar Heels miss out on a defensive tackle in this class, there is a loaded group of defensive tackles in the 2022 class, particularly in the state of North Carolina, headlined by 5✮ Grimsley High School standout Travis Shaw.