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MARIETTA, Ga. — During a parents meeting with Tennessee commits and prospective recruits, Michelle Page asked the one question all moms want answered.
“Who I am supposed to call if something happens to my baby?”
Michelle’s pride and joy is Peach State linebacker Solon Page III and she calmly waited for her question to be answered.
Suddenly, Volunteers coach Butch Jones slid over a chair and sat right next to Michelle.
He smiled and said, “Me.”
Page’s mom was confused.
“Who are you?”
Solon Page Sr. quickly interjected and said, “Baby, that’s the head coach.”
Dad to the rescue.
In all fairness to Michelle, momma wasn’t there when Solon Page III committed to Tennessee at the ‘Orange and White Game’ in April. The 3-star linebacker from Kell (Ga.) High hadn’t planned on making a decision that day, but Page simply “got good vibes” and committed to Jones on the spot.
Afterward, Page was mobbed in the locker room by Volunteer stars Jalen Hurd and Josh Dobbs, as Jones shouted, “We got a new Volunteer!!”
Although Michelle wanted to be there when her son made a life-changing choice, the Page family is very happy with the way Solon’s recruitment unfolded.
For nearly two years, Tennessee was the lone Power 5 school to extend a scholarship offer to Page.
The 6-foot-2, 207-pound rangy linebacker is yet another scouting success story for the Volunteers, as UT coaches discovered Page at a camp mostly designed for junior college prospects.
When Page was a freshman in high school, he showcased well at a Tennessee workout and won an impressive battle against a JUCO tight end. Volunteers linebacker coach Tommy Thigpen was intrigued by Page’s potential, so he singled out the slender freshman and wanted him to go 1-on-1 against a future D-1 prospect.
Page ran stride-for-stride with the tight end and broke up a pass.
Thigpen immediately screamed: “I got me one!”
Eventually, other programs saw what Thigpen noticed years before, but Page always found himself coming back to his first true love.
Despite offers from Rutgers, North Carolina, Virginia and others, the linebacker felt most comfortable on Rocky Top.
“Every time he goes to Tennessee it never feels like just a visit,” Page Sr. explained
Last Friday, Page wasn’t asked to do much in Kell’s 37-3 win over East Paulding.
With former Longhorns standout and Tennessee legacy Brian Randolph in the house, Page recorded a couple tackles for loss, but the Raiders mostly ran away the athletic linebacker.
During the game, Page shared a moment with Randolph on the sideline, saying the former Volunteers safety told him to “continue the legacy” and to “just keep balling out.”
Two weeks ago, Page did just that, tallying 3 TFLs and a 22-yard pick-six in another blowout win.
The linebacker is excited to finish out his senior season and get to Tennessee. Once on campus, Page will likely play a hybrid role for the Volunteers, ushering between outside linebacker and “a walk-down safety.
“Coach (Tommy) Thigpen likes the way I play in space, so that’s where they’re going to play me,” Page said.
“They want to play to my strengths and put me out into space.”
Six months after his decision, Page remains 100 percent committed to the Volunteers and isn’t planning on visiting any other schools this fall.
“Unless Disney World is giving out free scholarships, we’re not visiting anywhere else,” Page Sr. said.