Paige cleared to play at Foley

After a week of accusations and rumors regarding the eligibility of Darius Paige, Foley High School football coach Todd Watson said Thursday that he has been cleared to play by the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

After a week filled with accusations, it turns out that Darius Paige is eligible to play at Foley High School, as declared by the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

"Darius Paige is cleared to play," Foley High School football coach Todd Watson told FOX Sports NEXT's John Garcia Jr. early Thursday afternoon.

The three-star defensive tackle, who is committed to Alabama, had been under scrutiny due to his transfer from Pensacola (Fla.) Booker T. Washington to Foley (Ala.) High last week. He made the move after he was ineligible to play for Washington High in the spring.

As reported here earlier this week, rumors had sounded that an Alabama assistant coach controlled the move in order for Paige to "be taken care of" academically at Foley.

"He did withdraw from Pensacola Washington last Tuesday, enrolled at Foley High School Wednesday," Watson said. "But there are a lot of things that go into being eligible in the state of Alabama. A lot of things have to be done by the Alabama High School Athletic Association, including making sure he was eligible where he came from and that he had a qualified move."

There were uncertainties with his transcripts and overall standing, but as of Thursday afternoon, the AHSAA has cleared Paige, according to Watson.

"They found no wrongdoing in his transfer to Foley," Watson said. "He's been ruled eligible so we'll continue to pursue it as such."

Due to the investigation, Paige hadn't put on pads for Foley yet. Watson didn't want to put him at risk.

"The AHSAA will make sure that all transfer rules are followed and that all academic rules are followed before he participates in a game," Watson said. "We're not going to play anybody that's ineligible for any reason."

Now that Paige has been cleared, when will he suit up?

"Immediately," Watson said.

John Garcia Jr. contributed to this report.


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