Page declares intention to enter NFL draft

January 13, 2012 | News, UToday
By Paul Helgren

Eric Page returned a kickoff 87 yards to score a touchdown in the Military Bowl.

University of Toledo junior wide receiver Eric Page has decided to forego his senior season and enter the 2012 NFL draft. Page made the announcement in a news conference at UT Thursday.

“I came back after the [Military] Bowl game and discussed it with my family, and we decided that entering the NFL draft would be the best thing for me,” Page said. “I’ve had a great three years at Toledo. Without Toledo, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now. I can say that 100 percent.”

Page leaves the Rockets after finishing one of the most prolific careers in UT history. He set school records for both career receptions (306) and season receptions (125 in 2011). His 306 career receptions tied the Mid-American Conference record held by Marshall’s Josh Davis and Western Michigan’s Jordan White, and is 43 shy of the NCAA mark held by Robert Broyles of Oklahoma.

“Eric is a terrific young man with a great future,” said UT Head Coach Matt Campbell. “He is a team player who gave his all for The University of Toledo for three years. It was a privilege to coach him. We wish him all the best in the NFL and in all his future endeavors.”

Page’s three-year career at Toledo is loaded with accolades. As a freshman in 2009, Page caught 82 passes and made numerous Freshman All-America teams. In 2010, he hauled in 99 receptions and also made a huge impact as a kickoff returner. He was the only player in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) to return three kickoffs for touchdowns that year, earning a first-team spot on Walter Camp and Sporting News All-America teams. He was the first Rocket in 35 years to make first-team All-America.

This past season, Page caught a school-record 125 passes to lead Toledo to a 9-4 record. His 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown helped key Toledo’s 42-41 victory over Air Force in the Military Bowl. Page was named first-team All-MAC at wide receiver, kickoff returner and punt returner, only the third player in BCS history to make first-team all-league at three positions. He also was one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, which is given annually to the nation’s most versatile player.

Page could have good company in the NFL next year. There are currently nine former Rockets on NFL rosters, as well as a number of this year’s departing seniors who will attempt to earn spots with teams next season.

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