It's been called âThe World's Toughest Job Interview.â For six days at the NFL Combine (Feb. 22 â Feb. 28), college football's best will be measured, interviewed, tested, watched and analyzed by countless NFL coaches, general managers and scouts conducting all of their due diligence before the NFL Draft. To prepare, more than two dozen prospects have traveled to IMG Academy for six-plus weeks of Physical, Mental, Communication, Nutrition and Vision training withAthletic & Personal Development program specialists and on-field training with some of the game's top football coaches through theIMG Academy football program.
Catching touchdowns, returning touchdowns, throwing touchdowns...this 5'10â Toledo standout wide receiver has proven that he is the total package. The Ohio native has declared that he will be entering the 2012 NFL Draft, forfeiting his final season with the Rockets. He was a mere 49 receptions short from breaking Toledo's all- time receptions record held by New Orleans Saints Lance Moore. Page plans on being remembered for more than one record; with a Steve Smith style of play he will most certainly impress many with his overall speed, athletic abilities and mental understanding of the game that he loves. âI like playing against the best competition, and I feel like I am not only physically but mentally ready to play with the best. The best of the best play in the NFL, and it is time for me to take my game to that next levelâ said Page. Page has taken time out of his much demanding schedule here at IMG Academy to discuss why he chose Toledo, his relationship with Toledo's new Head Coach Matt Campbell and his love/obsession with the video game Call of Duty.
Eric Page onâ¦
I am feeling great going into the combine, I am glad that I made the decision to enter the draft. We got the big win at the end of the year (Military Bowl) which was a big thing for me. Leaving Toledo with a bowl ring and finishing the season 9-4 was a great way to go out on top.
â¦breaking Toledo's all-time reception record
I knew I was pretty close to it, hearing it from tons of reporters almost every day. But honestly no, it really wasn't a big thing for me. My goal has always been to play in the NFL, and I have to jump at this opportunity that has been given to me.
â¦relationship with new Head Coach Matt Campbell
I am very close with him. He was our offensive coordinator for the three years I was at Toledo. When he became the head coach it wasn't really a big difference for us. We had already seen and respected him as the leader of our offense and when he moved to head coach nothing really changed to much for us.
â¦relationship with teammates
Quarterback Terrance Owens (T.0.), who was my roommate since freshman year and all of the other receiversâ¦we are all extremely close. Last year we only had one senior on the team, so I had to act almost as a senior role. A lot of the younger guys, especially receivers looked to me to lead and help them out if they had any questions or problems.
I am a big family man, and having my family and friends nearby me throughout my career at Toledo was huge. I have a younger brother who is two years younger than me and he was just finishing up high school when I entered into Toledo. I think it was extremely important for me to be there for him as well as my mom, who is a single mother. As much as they helped me out with their love and support, I tried to help them out as much as possible as well.
â¦training side by side with Mohamed Sanu and Stephen Hill at IMG Academy
It is great! Just watching these guys on TV you aren't able to truly learn or understand their overall work ethic. Yet, I am able to learn first-hand how these impressive receivers train and work on a daily basis. These guys are working towards all the same goals as you, and they work as hard as you. We almost feed off of each other. It's a competition and they have the same drive as you have; wanting to win and succeed at all they do. It is an extremely motivating environment. It motivates everyone to do a little bit better each day because having competition like this truly push you to the next level.
â¦overall draft status
I have heard a lot of different things but it really doesn't faze me. This is the way I am looking at it, I am most likely going to get drafted on a team, and once I do, I will just take it from there. One day at a time, and when I am picked I am just going to show my skills and what I can do on the field.
One receiver that I used to respect and love his game and skills was Randy Moss. He was one of the best in the game. Yet, when I grew up and started to realize what type of receiver I would be, Steve Smith from the Carolina Panthers became one of my âidol receiversâ.
â¦Ohio State Game (Caught 12 passes, two for touchdowns and threw for a 2-point conversion)
Coming in we knew it was going to be a big game, but we knew the whole time we were going to be able to stay in the game and keep up with their tempo. A lot of people thought it was going to be a blow out, so we came out with a chip on our shoulder, but we came out and fought with them all the way to the end.
â¦former Toledo, now NFL players Lance Moore, Steve Williams, and Andrew Hawkins
They have definitely paved the way for me. I played with Steve my freshman year, and he helped me out immensely with everything, especially receiver things because coming in I didn't really know much about that position (Played QB in High school). I talked with Andrew Hawkins during the tough decision process to either stay or enter the draft, and he helped me out a lot with that. Lance Moore is a great player, I met him once and you can't ever doubt or question what he does on the field.
â¦Call of Duty fan
It is one of my favorite things to do away from football. I am a competitor, and I always love any type of competition. When I am not playing football, video games are a great way for me to compete.
Coming in I didn't know what to expect, but to tell you the truth I am glad that I came here. The overall schedule they provide for us here is amazing. In everything that we do, we are getting better. From the food we eat, the training on the field, to the weight lifting, etc. It has truly prepared me to do the things that I need to do to succeed at the next level. The little things they teach here will all combine to make big results.