The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2020 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE MARCH 2020 THE WOLVERINE 45 Paige recorded 199 tackles, eight stops for loss, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble over the course of his final two seasons at West Bloomfield (Mich.) High School. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND DID YOU KNOW? • Coached by former U-M wide receiver Ron Bellamy. • High school teammate Cornell Wheeler is also a part of U-M's 2020 signing class. • At Nike's The Opening Regional, he ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash. • Enrolled at U-M in January. • Three-year member of the varsity squad and two-time cap- tain. • Was mostly a running back until his junior year of high school. THEY SAID IT • Rivals Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt: "Paige is the total package at safety, one who can play with range in coverage and also roll into the box and be an asset in run support. His height is legitimate and his frame has room to add quite a bit more good weight. I have seen Paige man-up receivers at the line of scrimmage and play off coverage equally as well, so he really does provide all the skills you look for out of that safety position." • West Bloomfield head coach Ron Bellamy: "He's a great leader, a super competitor, a ver- satile kid that can play multiple positions on the defense. He's a kid that has improved in his pass cov- erage, and his range is unreal. He can cover a ton of ground. You could put him on the slot, and now he can cover those big 6-4, 6-5 tight ends or big receiver-type guys." need to have that moxie to help rise to the occasion." While Helmholdt compares Paige to former U-M safeties, he also points out that both Adams and Wilson had major levels of success at U-M. Ad- ams was second-team All-Big Ten as both a junior and a senior, while Wilson started 30 games at the safety spot and earned All-Big Ten honor- able mention in his senior season. He played that year, 2015, under head coach Jim Harbaugh after previously being coached by Brady Hoke and staff. "I do think it's interesting that as I look at him and compare him to past Michigan safeties like a Jamar Adams or a Jarrod Wilson, players like him have had success at Michi- gan," Helmholdt said. "Now, those are different coaching staffs, different schemes, different defenses. But it's just interesting that he reminds me of them. I don't often compare guys to other guys, but he does remind me a lot of past Michigan safe- ties who have had success." Helmholdt predicts similar triumphs for Paige during his career. As an early enrollee, he has a leg up on the o t h e r f re s h m e n that will arrive this summer, and that may help him get on the field earlier. "I think he's one of the players in this class that could compete early in his first year," Helmholdt said. "He has the tools to be able to do that. Physically, I think he'll continue to get stronger and thicker and bigger. "I think he's physically and mentally among t h e b e s t - p r e p a r e d Michigan signees in this 2020 class to con- tribute right away." ❑ Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt on Paige "I don't often compare guys to other guys, but he does remind me a lot of past Michigan safeties who have had success."

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