Exclusive: Chase Page interview

Flown to San Diego at the expense of the Chargers, Chase Page was brought in to tour the team's facilities prior to the NFL Draft to meet with head coach Marty Schottenheimer and his staff.

The impression he made during his visit ensured his selection by the Chargers on Sunday.

"[Chargers DL coach Wayne Nunnely] and I got along really well," Page said. "I met Coach Schottenheimer, the general manager [A.J. Smith] and the strength coaches. Basically, I just met everybody."

While he was there, Page underwent a thorough examination by Chargers' team doctors that lasted nearly two hours.

"The physical was the biggest thing," Page said. "They did an EKG, they drew my blood, did X-Rays, they looked at my teeth; they did everything. I think I did fine. There were no real problems. So I think I'm pretty healthy."

Page said he spent a great deal of time with Nunnely and found his coaching style strikingly similar to that of UNC assistant Kenny Browning.

"They have the same thoughts on technique and how to play on certain plays," Page said. "That's why they were looking at me. They like my fundamentals. They think that I can be a fit there."

Along with all his full-time duties of coaching spring practice and recruiting, Browning was instrumental in helping Page prepare for the draft.

"He owes Kenny Browning a giant thanks for improving his technique and assisting him this spring, and with all the time and help he provided Chase coordinating video and information for interested NFL teams," his father, Tony, said. "Regardless of the outcome on draft day, it would be great to acknowledge Coach Browning for taking the time to help a graduated player during what is one of the busiest times of the year for him."

Page also credited former UNC assistant Hal Hunter, who left to become San Diego's offensive line coach last February, for "putting in a good word" for him and helping set up the visit.

Page turned in strong performances during Pro Timing Day in Chapel Hill on March 21. He measured and weighed in at 6-foot-4 ¾ and 296 pounds, completed 28 reps of 225 pounds and ran a ‘4.9-forty.'

"That was a little slow for Chase, but equaled the fastest forty for a DT at the combine," the elder Page noted. "He also recorded a broad jump of nine feet and 11 inches – one inch farther than State's super Mario [Williams] jumped at the combine."

Page also scored a 29 on the Wonderlic test – well above the league's average.

After starting his college career as a tight end, then moving to guard; Page finally found a home on the defensive line, switching over to defense during the spring prior to his sophomore season.

Since then he started every game at either tackle or end – with a year off as a medical redshirt in 2004 when he tore a tendon in his left hand.

In three complete seasons, Page had 123 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He was also a vocal team leader – on the field and in the locker room - and a key cog in the revival of a UNC defense that went from the laughing stock of the ACC in '02 and '03, to one of the league's stingier units in Page's senior campaign.

Somewhere in the highlight reel the Page family and Browning gathered for NFL scouts, there's a clip of him chasing down Virginia quarterback Marquis Hagans last October.

Clinging to a 7-5 lead with less than two minutes to play, the Cavs had possession at the Tar Heels' 36-yard line and needed just a few more yards to set up a game-winning field goal attempt.

But Page flushed Hagans out of the pocket, forcing him to heave an errant pass that was tipped by Cedrick Holt and picked out of the air by Trimane Goddard to effectively end the game.


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