Home Around the State Ursuline’s James Phillips – A Pleasant Surprise

Ursuline’s James Phillips – A Pleasant Surprise

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James Phillips quickly caught my attention at the Ashland Football Camp last Friday night. The senior to be at Youngstown Ursuline was a no-brainer in passing the eye-ball test.

Last year as a wide receiver, he weighed 195 pounds and measured 6’0. With the help of his personal trainer, James now weighs 230 and measures 6’1. He benches 316. Friday night he ran a 4.64/40. No longer a wide receiver. Best position may be linebacker going into his senior year.

As I watched his HUDL hi-lites, he shows athleticism. Impressed with ball catching skills, especially catching the ball in a crowd. He also ran the ball from the wildcat formation. Needs to continue to get faster, but he was physical and played with emotion.

Like most high school football players, he needs to develop his initial quickness and a burst. He needs to improve his change of direction or re-direct. He has the ability to run, but just needs to fine tune it.

Grades are improving. Will be around at 2.65 after this spring. Needs to improve his ACT score, but is taking a prep class to improve on his score. With his focus on academics, he should have no problem qualifying. Interesting note – after college and if his NFL opportunities do not come true, James wants to either enlist in the Marines or Army. Wants to have his boots on the ground.

His advice to freshmen football players is to “give everything you got all of the time. Take football serious from the start. Time goes so fast.”

James credits both his personal trainer and his new head football coach at Ursuline, Dan Reardon with pushing him to be the best. They have had a major influence in his drive to be the best in everything.

James will play TE and linebacker this fall. I really like him as a linebacker. Seems to the ideal inside LB or Mike backer. Big enough. Needs to continue to improve football agility and his athleticism. But his his physicality is at the top.

I need to find out more about James Phillips. I need to see him run and re-direct. Need to see him in camp.

Kent State has been one of the D1 schools to offer. West Virginia and Western Michigan are showing interest. Camps will be huge for his exposure.

What I do know is that he is driven to make it “out.” Football is his “way out.” With his new outlook and from the little I know, I like his chances.

 

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