Columbia (S.C.) A.C. Flora High School standout lineman Kenneth Page is racking up an obscene offer list, pushing past 30 schools from all the major conferences across the country. The four-star offensive guard/tackle prospect is somehow managing relationships with each and every one of those schools and keeping his head. More surprising is the fact that he is still months away from cutting any schools from his lengthy list.
"I'm still handling it pretty well," Page reports. "I plan around August to get it down to at least eight to 10 schools. I want to have that done by the end of my summer."
Previously Page had pegged sometime this spring to winnow his recruiting universe, but he is finding too much to like from his options.
"It's kind of hard," he explains. "No school who has offered me is a bad school. They're all D-I. They all have good academics - some above the others. As far as the football teams, the same teams don't win each year. Some will have better history than others."
So how does a young man like Page start slashing away at a list bereft of "bad schools"?
"First, I'm going to think about the colleges that are really like me," he answers. "I base that on how often I communicate with the coaches. It's not how much they communicate with me, but more the relationships I have with the coaches themselves. That's going to help narrow it down because you have to have a relationship with your coaches. As far as visits, I'm going to try to get around to a lot of schools over the summer. That will help make the decision easier."
With the his final exams just over two weeks away, those summer visits are drawing near for Page. And they will total a truly epic journey through the United States
"I don't have it set in stone," he begins. "I know that I'm going to visit some colleges around the states of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Then I'm going to try to get to the Michigan area, and while I'm there I'm going to try to get to Indiana, the two colleges in Michigan and probably over to Ohio. I have some family in New York, so I can get to Boston College and some colleges up there. I know that North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida and Georgia are all within a good driving distance of where I am now. I'm going to try and see if I can find a way to get over to California and Colorado. Basically, if I can get around to all of those, I will have visited just about all of the schools, and that will make it a lot easier."
"One good thing about the school year this year is that school used to start at the end of July," Page adds. "But our mayor passed a law, so school can't officially start until three weeks into August. Although we get out on May 23, we're not going to start until August 20, so we're going to have a very long summer."
Page's trip would travel the greatest distance, and that West Coast swing would allow him to see Stanford. It is the most distant, expensive and problematic of his plans.
"I can't say it's unrealistic, but it will definitely be difficult," Page allows. "That's obviously something we can't drive up to. We'd have to take a plane. I'm pretty sure if I can get with an adult, actually find a date and start saving up, we can probably get a cheap small airline over there."
While finances could squeeze Page from seeing The Farm this summer, he says that would not necessarily squeeze Stanford from consideration in his final 8-10 schools.
"If I can't visit them, the decision will be based on the research and what I can find looking them up," Page explains. "I can get pictures of the campus and some of the facilities out there. Then put that together with my overall relationship with the coach."
The Cardinal recruiter for the four-star 6'4" lineman is defensive backs coach Clayton White, who hails from Carolina country (albeit of the "North" variety).
"From the amount of time I have spent on the phone with him, he's a great person. He's just an overall good man," Page reports. "I tell him about my life, and he tells me about his. I'm trying to get to know coaches on a personal basis rather than just business."
The business at hand for the A.C. Flora student-athlete in May is finishing his junior year of high school to the level of his abilities.
"I actually dropped my GPA a few points this last semester," he laments. "But I'm going to finish out strong with a 3.8 or 3.9."
That academic fortitude is precisely why the Cardinal stand a non-trivial chance in Kenneth Page sweepstakes.
"I love Stanford," he maintains. "I understand how hard it is to get in the NFL and how long an NFL career lasts. I'm a big academic man myself, so I look at the intangibles such as a degree from Stanford. Bar none, I will have a good job, and that's all that matters to me in the end."
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