Christopher Paige loves math and science.
An AP Computer Science class at Punahou is one of his favorite things in life. Princeton noticed this. The Tigers also noticed Paige’s skill and speed on the gridiron and offered him a roster spot on Tuesday.
Princeton and all Ivy League football programs do not offer athletic scholarships, but the financial package for athletes works out well.
“It’s a great school. They have a great computer science program. I think they’ve been ranked No. 1 in the country for the past 10 years,” said Paige, who has eight opportunities in all.
The other FBS/FCS teams that have opened doors to Paige are Air Force, Army, Penn, Navy, Valparaiso, Northern Colorado and Columbia.
“My parents are super stoked about (Princeton). They think it’s a great opportunity for me,” he said.
He has a 3.6 grade-point average and a 4.46 time in the 40-yard dash.
Paige announced the news about Princeton on Twitter, but his wording left some followers slightly confused.
“I think the Hawaii Recruits reposted like I committed, but I didn’t commit (yet),” Paige said.
The real deal is his love for studying.
“I definitely want to pursue computer science. I’m pretty passionate about computer science and STEM in general. I took AP Computer Science this year and it’s super interesting,” he said on Thursday morning.
His AP Computer Science class is formatted as a year-long stint.
“The way our school is structuring our classes, we have three blocks in a semester, so within your block, semester-long classes are accelerated. You meet for two hours every day. The year-long classes, instead of every day, you meet twice a cycle and you meet only for an hour,” Paige said.
Princeton is, for many scholars, a jewel in American education. The university is in Princeton, N.J.
“I’ve seen their campus just virtually. They have a really beautiful campus. I’m going to attend a football players virtual tour on Sunday,” Paige said.
Tigers offensive coordinator Mike Willis and assistant coach Mark Rosenbaum have seen Punahou graduates suit up for Princeton in recent seasons.
“When they talked to me, they said they’ve taken players from our school. Tamatoa (Falatea) went on his mission and he’ll be a sophomore when he’s back. Andrei (Iosivas) will be a junior by the time I’m a freshman,” Paige said. “It’s pretty strong. They talked about the pipeline. Andrei said it’s the best decision he ever made. They’re letting him do both track and football, so that’s great.”
Paige was one of the top returning hurdlers in the state last spring before COVID-19 swept the season away. Punahou is now back with in outdoor sports. In P.E. class, students have an activity that involves wearing a giant, transparent plastic bubble, knocking each other all over the football field. No harm done.
“I laid out one of my friends with the bubbles. I think it’s on a video,” said Paige, who is 6 feet, 2 inches and 190 pounds.
Paige has worked out near his family’s home through the entire pandemic. On-campus workouts have also begun.
“Now, I’ve gone back to school, I’m on campus and we started track practice. In between, I’m running on the beach and lifting at home,” he said. “They way they structured it, they put spots at the stations (at the school weight room).”