When he went to bed on Tuesday night, Fairview High School receiver Grant Page knew he was going to surprise a lot of people the next day.
By the time he woke up Wednesday, the news was out: Page had signed a national letter of intent with his hometown Colorado Buffaloes.
“Yeah, my phone blew up; like completely blew up,” he said.
On June 20, Page announced his verbal commitment to CU’s long-time rival, Nebraska. Until Wednesday’s national signing day, everyone – except those in Page’s inner circle – expected him to sign with the Cornhuskers.
Page, who is recovering from a torn ACL, said he had a change of heart last Saturday.
“That’s when I got with my family and decided,” he said. “I thought it would be a fun little surprise (for signing day).”
Rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 3 prospect in the state, Page is the rare player to sign with the hometown Buffs.
In 2002, CU signed three local players: Fairview’s Jason Ackerman and Mike Groover and Boulder’s Ty Littlehales. Page is just the fourth player from a Boulder County high school – and the first from Fairview – to sign with the Buffs since then.
Prior to Wednesday, the last Boulder County signee for the Buffs was Silver Creek offensive lineman Isaac Miller, in 2014.
“I think people just want to get a change of scenery, get something new,” Page said. “But I think we can start something special at CU and keep all the homegrown kids in and put on for the city.”
Throughout the fall, CU remained in contact with the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Page, who caught 173 passes during his career at Fairview.
“We’ve had that connection for quite some time,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “We’ve always been that, I guess, that familiar face in the process.
“Obviously we’re very excited about that opportunity to keep him home.”
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost recently made several changes to the coaching staff but goes into next season on the hot seat as he’s posted four consecutive losing seasons at his alma mater. That played a role in Page’s choice.
“It was a very tough decision,” Page said. “Nebraska is going through some coaching changes and I’m injured, too, so I just wanted to stay home and recover and all that kind of stuff.
“At the end of the day, I wanted to stay close to my family, my city where I grew up.”
Page injured his knee in Fairview’s fifth game this season. He said Nebraska was going to honor its scholarship offer, but he added, “I just didn’t feel right about it, so I wanted to stay home.”
Like Nebraska, CU is going through coaching changes. The Buffs currently don’t have an offensive coordinator or receivers coach, but Page said he trusts Dorrell.
“I put my faith in him, I put my faith in the program,” he said.
Page is also putting his faith in CU’s medical team to get him healthy. CU’s team doctor, Eric McCarty, performed the surgery on Page’s knee and now he’ll get to stay with McCarty during rehab. Page will enroll at CU in January and focus on his rehab with the Buffs.
“The knee feels good,” he said. “It’s a slow process. It feels really good right now, but I’ve just got to take it day by day and make sure it fully heals and all that kind of stuff.”
Signing with CU will also allow Page to stay close to his mother, Clancy, who works in the housing and dining department at CU.
“She wanted me to go to CU, but she respected my (initial) decision to go to Nebraska,” he said. “She wants the best for me.
“It’s very exciting. I’ve been going to Buff games since I was a little boy. Being a part of the Black and Gold and put on for the city, put on for the state, put on for the university, it’s a big deal.”