The Tennessee Vols, along with nearly every other program in the country, are strongly pursuing 2021 five-star defensive lineman Payton Page.

Earlier this year, Page revealed a top five that included Clemson, North Carolina, LSU, Oregon and Tennessee.

But according to a recent update from Rivals, there are really only three schools that are a serious threat to land Page: Clemson, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Page, 6-foot-4/360 lbs from Greensboro, NC (Dudley), is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 4 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 28 overall 2021 recruit.

Rivals says the Tigers are the “betting favorite” to land Page. That’s not much of a surprise. Clemson is recruiting at an elite level right now and they’re tough to beat for any recruit.

But Tennessee has a shot here.

Rivals noted Page is enjoying getting to know new Vols defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, while pointing out that running backs coach Jay Graham is the “steadying force” in the Vols’ pursuit of the elite defensive lineman. Graham is also a North Carolina native.

Tennessee actually has some history with Page’s high school. The Vols signed defensive back Emmanuel Moseley out of Dudley in 2014. I’m not sure how much that will help UT with Page — that was a different staff that signed Moseley — but it’s a connection nonetheless.

The Vols need to get Page on campus as often as possible between now and the time he signs. Clemson might be the frontrunner, but Tennessee can quickly change that.

NEXT: Top 10 Tennessee football players of the last 10 years

Featured image via 247Sports


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