You're rooting for Eric Page to do well with the Buccaneers

Kirk Irwin

The former productive Toledo wide receiver, fresh off recovering from a season-ending injury, is with his second NFL team. Who doesn't want a 5'10" wideout to succeed in the pros?

The orange and brown in my bloodstream tells me not to, but Eric Page is the prime example of what makes rooting for the MAC so fun. Eric Page was undersized and not fast enough for even the Big Ten, which is why he went to Toledo. But he could play. Man, he could play. He caught the ball, ran it a little bit, returned kicks and punts (which garnered him a consensus All-American nod in 2010) and even passed for four touchdowns. In one game against Central Michigan he was a machine, scoring five touchdowns three ways: two receiving, two kickoff returns, and one passing.

For three seasons Page was the one to stop in that offense. He was Dri Archer without the burning speed.

Page shocked some of us when he declared early for the 2012 NFL Draft and further surprised us yet again when he wasn't drafted. However, he had nothing left to prove at the collegiate level, MAC records don't pay the bills, and that's understandable. The setback happened in Denver Broncos camp when he lost the season to a knee injury, wiping out what would have been his senior year in Toledo. Now he's got a second chance with a team as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed him. You may remember when Page was entertaining free agent offers last summer that some (including Page on Twitter, apparently) initially reported the Bucs signed him until he changed his mind. So landing back in Tampa makes sense.

And I hope he does well, but like many 5'10" wide receivers who are not fast, he'll have to overcome those necessities with the way he almost helped beat Ohio State: his intelligence and his cunning. I sadly don't follow the NFL much anymore so I can't speak to the strength of their receiving corps as a whole, but I do see that he'll be reuniting with former Rocket tight end Danny Noble. Hopefully Page can crack the three-deep and perhaps see time at the return positions. And it's fine to think this, even as a BGSU fan, because the only Falcons he's now capable of beating are in Atlanta.

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