"God it feels great," Page said. "It's kind of relieving because we thought I was going to go at 202, and then 212; and that didn't happen. Then it finally happened (at 225)."
The Tar Heels have had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft every year since 1971.
But not before a Chargers' exec had some fun with Page, who was watching the Draft from his home in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
"He called and said, ‘Well, are you ready to commit to camp at San Diego as a free agent?' And I was like I real disappointed because they were on the clock. So I said, ‘I don't know what my situation is.' Just then he said, ‘Hold on.'"
He then put Page on the phone with the general manager, A.J. Smith, who said, "Page, we're not going to wait. We think a lot of you. We're going to take you with our next pick."
"This is just so awesome," Page replied.
Then head coach Marty Schottenheimer called.
"He said I had earned this chance and he thinks I can do a lot," Page said. "He said he's ready for me to come out there and start working, and I told him I was ready, too."
Page promised himself he wouldn't get nervous while waiting, but just before he got the word, he could tell something was up.
"Early on, I was like ‘whatever,'" he said. "But in the later rounds, some teams started calling. Miami called and asked, ‘Are you healthy?' and I'm like, ‘Yes, I'm healthy.' So I thought the Dolphins were going to take me with their next pick.
"Then they never called, and took a guy from Texas State. I was like, is it going to happen? Is it not going to happen?
"I've never been this excited.
"I want to thank everybody at Carolina. I called Coach [Kenny] Browning and Coach [Corey] Holliday and thanked them. I thank my teammates and I appreciate everything everybody did at North Carolina. I love those guys. I wish luck to everybody else that's still waiting. I talked to Wallace [Wright] and Tommy [Richardson], but we'll see what happens."
Page, a 6-5, 280-pound native of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., came to Carolina as a tight end, switched to offensive guard as a true freshman, then moved to the defensive line as a sophomore where he started 35 consecutive games.