MT. PLEASANT, Mich. – This past Monday, the Central Michigan program added another in-state prospect to its 2016 recruiting class when Detroit King defensive end Leon Page pledged to the Chippewas’ staff. Page’s commitment boosted Central Michigan’s class to seven players deep, totaling five commits from the Great Lakes State.
While Page knew in his mind that he had planned on committing to Central Michigan on his visit, he kept that information close to the vest to ensure that it would remain a surprise to the Chips’ coaching staff.
“They actually didn’t know that I was going to commit,” Page said. “I just told them I was coming up for a visit. Before I was going to leave, we had gone in the head coaches’ office, my and my family. He was talking to us and he asked when I would be making my decision. I said me and my family talked about it and we want to pledge to Central Michigan. They jumped over the excitement.”
According to Page, he had known that Central Michigan was the right school for him dating back to his birthday on May 28.
“This was actually my second time visiting,” Page said. “I liked it. I liked it a lot.”
With offers from schools such as Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan and Miami (Oh.), Page said that CMU stood apart from the pack.
“Central, they showed a lot of love,” Page said. “A lot, a lot of love. They always talk to me through Twitter and telling me to call them.”
Throughout the recruiting process, Page’s primary recruiter from Central Michigan has been Archie Collins, the Chippewas’ defensive back coach. The two have developed a close relationship, but Collins won’t be the only familiar face for Page in Mt. Pleasant.
“From my class, Jakkar Jackson,” Page says of his future teammate.” I know him. We actually used to play on the same little league team.”
Page and Jackson then grew closer during the recruiting process and the pair of prospects visited Central Michigan together.
“I’ve known Leon for a while now and we’ve been on a couple visits together at CMU,” Jackson said. “Our relationship is pretty good even though we’re on different teams. We respect each other because we’re considered some of the best in the state.”
Now that Page has joined Jackson as a CMU commit, the 6’3”, 226 pound three-star defensive end is going to work on several other in-state targets in an effort to lure them to Central Michigan as well.
Among Page’s targets are: three-star King cornerback Dontre Boyd, three-star Pershing safety Jesse Johnson, three-star Southfield defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike and three-star Thurston cornerback Alonozo McCoy.
As for the rest of the offseason, Page is focusing on improving his physique in hopes of seeing speed dividends on the field this fall for King.
“Its been going real good,” Page said. “I’ve been working on trying to get stronger upper body and continuing to get faster off the ball.”
Once the 2015 season is in the books, Page will then head to Central Michigan. When that happens, the Chippewas’ should see a spike in pressure from the defensive line unit, according to Page.
“I’m a speed rush defensive end,” Page said. “They should expect me to make a lot of plays and a lot of sacks.”