University of Toledo sophomore Eric Page was named Thursday evening to the Walter Camp All-America first-team as a kickoff returner.
The Springfield graduate is the first Rocket ever to be named to the Walter Camp All-America team, and the first UT football player to make first team on any All-America team since quarterback Gene Swick in 1975.
“I'm very proud to be named All-American,” Page said in a statement. “It's a great honor for me, for my team and for the University of Toledo. I would also like to thank my family and all the people who have helped me throughout my whole life.”
Page will join fellow All-Americans for the Walter Camp Awards Weekend in New Haven, Conn., on Jan. 13-15. The weekend will culminate with the National Awards Dinner, which will recognize the 121st annual college All-America team and major award winners, on Jan. 15 at the Yale University Commons at 5 p.m.
Page, who plays wide receiver as well as returning kickoffs and punts for the Rockets, ranks fourth in the nation in kickoff returns (31.8 avg.) and is the only player in the Football Bowl Subdivision to have returned three kickoffs for touchdowns this season. As a receiver, Page is tied for fifth in the nation with 94 receptions, and ranks 18th in the country with 1,081 receiving yards.
Page was named the Mid-American Conference special teams player of the year and was an All-MAC first-team honoree as both a kickoff returner and wide receiver. He is the first player from the conference to make Walter Camp first-team All-America since Akron defensive back Dwight Smith in 2000, and the first offensive player from the MAC to be named to the team since Randy Moss of Marshall in 1997.
“Eric Page is a fine young man and a terrific football player who truly deserves to be an All-American," UT coach Tim Beckman said. "The entire Rocket football family is proud of Eric and everything he has accomplished.”
The Walter Camp All-America team is the oldest of all the All-America teams.
Walter Camp, considered "the father of American football," first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp, a former Yale University athlete and football coach, is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to 11 men per side.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation, a New Haven based all-volunteer group, was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.