After months of deciding, senior Seaholm three star defensive end Neal Page accepted head coach Charlie Weis’ offer to play football for University of Kansas Jayhawks.
Shortly after national signing day Page was offered by the Jayhawks on February 10th and he quickly scheduled a visit down to Lawrence.
“It was a surprising yet exhilarating experience,” said Page. “The campus itself is beautiful and the facilities are outstanding.”
Another reason why Page was interested in Kansas is the Big 12 Conference.
“The big 12 fits my style of play,” said Page. “I get to utilize my pass rushing ability by going up against the best passing in the NCAA.”
Page said he was impressed by a Kansas coaching staff with NFL experience. Weis was a three time Super Bowl winner. New defensive coordinator Dave Campo is a former Dallas Cowboys head coach.
New linebackers coach DeMonte Cross, joins the coaching staff after winning a Rose Bowl with Wisconsin.
Page was contacted by programs such as Michigan State and Syracuse and received
scholarship offers from Central Michigan, Kent State, Akron and Illinois State. Page also had a preferred walk-on spot at the University of Illinois.
Page gives a tremendous amount of gratitude to the Seaholm Coaching staff for getting him where he is today especially Coach Mike Marshall, former wide receivers coach at Seaholm.
“Without coach (Marshall) they would’ve have never seen my film, especially in the timely matter they did,” said Page.
Marshall has been coaching for over 26 years and he was the former head coach at Henry Ford High School in Detroit. He has helped over 240 student athletes receive college football scholarships and he knows what a player needs to get to the next level.
“I believed Neal could play at BCS school because he has this fast motor that’s nonstop and you don’t see too many kids with that today,” said Marshall.
Marshall got in touch with Kansas recruiter, Reggie Mitchell and liked what he saw in Page. After that, he passed the film down to Campo and then on to Weis, where he took interest and decided to offer Page a full ride scholarship.
This film does not lie. Page was a three year starter at Seaholm and finished with 203 tackles, 5 blocked punts and 24.5 sacks, which was second most in Seaholm history. Page also set new records for most tackles for a loss in a career and most tackles by a defensive lineman in a career.
Neal’s got everything you can’t teach, the quick motor and drive, “Neal is definitely a player that can compete at the next level and he is a type of player that leaves everything on the field,” said former Seaholm Head Coach Chris Fahr.
At 6’5’’ 220 pounds the only thing coaches would like to fix about Page is his weight.
“Neal’s got everything you can’t teach, the quick motor and drive, but you can teach him how to put on weight and muscle and Kansas will do that with their offseason programs,” said Marshall.
Page has already working on his strength as soon as the season ended and he is preparing himself to make his dream a reality.
“Ever since I was young it has always been a dream for me to play college football and I’ve always strived to make this dream come true,” said Page.
Page will be heading down June 4th to Lawrence where he will be training with the Jayhawks for the upcoming 2012 season.