Vols in Top 5 for Five-Star Defensive Tackle

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    One of the top defensive tackles on the recruiting trail has included the Vols in his trimmed-down list of top teams moving forward in his recruitment.

    Payton Page, a five-star defensive tackle who plays for Dudley High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, included Tennessee in his list of top five teams, trimming down his list from his top 11 back in October. The Vols made the cut along with Clemson, LSU, Oregon, and North Carolina.

    The 6-foot-4, 315 pound tackle holds offers from nearly three dozen schools across the country, but he’ll be focusing mostly on those five programs moving forward. Page is ranked as the No. 7 overall player and No. 2 defensive tackle in the 2021 class per the 247Sports Composite rankings.

    Page has paid visits to the Tarheels more than any other school, but that’s to be expected when UNC is less than an hour from where Page lives. The five-star took an unofficial visit to UT’s campus back in late July of 2019, making his first trip to Knoxville. He also visited at the start of the season. Page has a strong relationship with Tennessee’s coaches.

    It’s also worth noting that the Vols were the first team to offer him way back in May of 2018.

    As a junior this past season for Dudley High School, Page racked up 71 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, three sacks, six quarterback hurries, and a fumble recovery in 13 games according to MaxPreps. In his last two seasons, Page has totaled 151 tackles, 52 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, and 27 quarterback hurries.

    Page is one of Tennessee’s top targets in the 2021 cycle, and the Vols have a need for defensive linemen in the upcoming recruiting class. Expect UT’s coaches to push hard for Page over the next year.

    Tennessee currently has four players committed to them in their 2021 class. Four-star wide receiver Jordan Mosley headlines the class, and three-star athlete Elijah Howard, three-star cornerback Jay Jones, and three-star athlete Nate Evans are also pledged to the Vols.