While Rutgers commit Al Page is taking a pro-active role in trying to recruit players to join him in the 2011 class, he is also developing a strong relationship with some of his future teammates.
When he was on campus two weeks ago for an elite recruiting event hosted by Rutgers, not only did he chat up prospective classmates, he got to know Rutgers defensive tackles Eric LeGrand, Charlie Noonan and Scott Vallone much better.
Page, a 6-foot-3, 315-pound defensive tackle from Christopher Columbus High (Bronx, N.Y.), said he ate lunch with the trio, and felt at home.
One of Pages more interesting conversations took place with Vallone.
“He’s a cool dude,” Page said. “Him and I got into a serious, deep conversation about defensive tackles. He told me what he loves to do in the middle, and how he like to try and get in guys’ paths and make plays. He’s only a sophomore, which surprised me, but when I talked to him, it just clicked.
“I liked talking to him, and I could really see myself playing on the line next to him. He’s big. Real big.”
Apparently, the size of Page also caught LeGrand and Noonan by surprise.
“I walked into the run and room and saw Eric LeGrand with Charlie Noonan,” Page said. “They were like, ‘Come over here, man.’ I said, ‘Hold on, let me get something to eat.’ Then I went over there and he said, ‘How much do you weigh.’ I said, ‘315,’ and he said, ‘they’re going to make you cut it down to 295 when you get here.’ “
Of course, Page played at 285 as a junior.
Aside from football, another passion of Page’s is weight lifting, and recently he told ScarletReport.com he bench-pressed 225 pounds 35 times, and he topped 400 pounds on his max bench press.
“I was just curious, so I asked (Noonan), ‘How much do you bench press?’ ‘’Page said. “He said, ‘475,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ He asked me how much I bench pressed, and when I told him 415, he said, ‘What? You’re lying.’
“He was just shaking his head. He was real cool. He’s huge. He’s not tall, and he’s not fat. He’s just wide. He could be a body builder if he put his heart into it.”
But what really impressed Page about the visit was what Vallone did after eating a big lunch.
“After the barbecue he went to the weight room,” Page said. “He said he needed to work off what he just ate.”