Former University of Tennessee wide receiver Ahmad Paige has transferred to Louisiana Tech.
Paige was a four-star recruit and the ninth best wide receiver in the country out of Sterlington (La.) High School in 2007. He visited Southern Cal, Florida, Georgia and Florida State before deciding on UT. A coaching change from Phillip Fulmer to Lane Kiffin, however, spurred a change of heart this spring.
“The SEC is a great conference with most of the best players, but once you’ve been there and done that, it doesn’t seem like as big a deal,” Paige said. “The things I want to accomplish, I can do right here at Louisiana Tech.”
Paige enrolled for summer classes in Ruston on Tuesday. He will miss the 2009 season under NCAA transfer rules, but will have two seasons remaining beginning in 2010.
The 6-foot-3, 179-pound Paige has enrolled for the first three-week session of classes, according to Tech registrar Robert D. “Bob” Vento Jr.
Since he initially signed his national letter of intent with Tennessee, Paige cannot re-sign at Tech, although he can sign financial aid papers. Student-athletes can sign national letters just once, unless they first go to a junior college, according to a Tech official.
“I didn’t really consider Tech out of high school, although I came to a couple of games here when coach (Jack) Bicknell was coaching,” Paige said. “But I love all of the changes that coach (Derek) Dooley is putting in place. And I wanted a fresh start. Things seem to be growing here and my family is happy to have me closer to home.”
Paige, who redshirted in 2007, saw limited action for the Vols last season and didn’t catch a pass. Paige believes he’ll be able to move forward at Tech both academically and athletically.
“I’ve only got about a year and a half left to get my degree (sports management), and I just want to do what I can to help this team while I’m here,” Paige said. “I would like to get to the next level.”