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Sylvester Croom used to say, “I value time. To be late for anything is one of the most disrespectful things you can do.” When it comes to the recruiting game in the SEC you don’t want to be late to the game whether you have five scholarships or 18 scholarship to offer. No matter the number if you want a player you have to work for it before they will want to work for you.
Well it has been clear that the 2013 UK Football recruiting process by the time Spring ball ended was playing late in the game to say the least. While many of the SEC powerhouses like Alabama, LSU and the newbies in A&M & Mizzou had already reached commitments into the teen numbers. UK was still following far behind with only two commits to our list. A lot of the buzz was that with our limited number of scholarships which would total between 18-20 has caused us to be more selective.
While that’s a fair statement as I have said we can’t be frugal in our offers because we really need to create more depth on both ends of the ball – I can’t stress that statement enough. I am by no means saying to throw away an abundance of offers but just to not be afraid to open and look at other potential means of creating a stronger force for the Cats that will be effective in 2013.
Well, for most of our readers that have read my articles you know that my roots lie in the Lonestar state and the only orange you will ever catch me bleeding is burnt orange if I am not in Kentucky bleeding blue. With that said you will also know when it comes to recruiting in the SEC like many people in the BBN I do not like to lose to those Vols from Tennessee!
Third time was a charm for the Cats on the commitment trail. At a towering 6’4”ft. his quick release, pocket passing and pro-style ways are a force that the Wildcats needed to land in 2013. Just nearly a month since we landed our “signal caller” from Signal Mountain HS, QB, Reese Phillips’ infamous cryptic tweet turned him from “bleeding orange to bleeding blue.”
Let’s go behind the gridiron with 2013 commit Reese Phillips:
Clearly a lot of universities in your home state of Tennessee had their eye on you. What ultimately made you feel that the Big Blue Nation would be the perfect fit for you?
Phillips: “What about this decision is not a good idea, that’s what it came down to I mean you’re playing in the SEC, you’re playing for a quarterback guru in Randy Sanders, I will get a chance to play Tennessee every year, and lastly I am the only quarterback they want and it just felt like home immediately.”
Do you feel that being able to know where you are going to play ball in 2013 helps for you to concentrate and focus on your senior year campaign and give you the opportunity to improve your game overall?
Phillips: “This decision will definitely help me focus on my year in high school and I expect to be much more relaxed and be able to go out and do what I do. It can help me make my game better with all the free time and now that my future is set it will definitely help me.”
What do you see as some of the strengths and dynamics that you can bring to the table in the future for the Cats on offense to make an impact early on?
Phillips: “Leadership, consistency, accuracy… I believe these three things are some of the biggest things to success along with the mental part of the game, some quarterbacks around the nation might throw for 5000 yards or whatever but it comes down to the intangibles.”
What has your recruiting experience been like for you thus far and are there things that you would like to see in the future to improve recruiting process?
Phillips: “It’s been pretty great , but I would be lying if I said it has not been stressful, I’m glad it’s over in a way but it was a great experience no doubt.”
As you know the SEC has one of the toughest defensive lines in the nation, so what if any are some things you feel you need to improve on as a QB to help you be able to with stand the long haul at UK?
Phillips: “Maybe pocket presence, footwork, you can always improve on something no one is ever perfect but overall maybe pocket presence and the mental part of the game.”
What is your football playing philosophy?
Phillipa: “Consistency… I think this is the biggest thing to any sport really, I believe obviously a lot in leader ship and team first but as a quarterback and an all-around football player consistency is the biggest factor.”
Any last remarks you would like to share to our readers and the Big Blue Nation?
Phillips: “I just want to say how excited I am about being a part of the BBN, I have grown up an enormous Tennessee fan but I’m very excited to be all blue. I expect to be the starter eventually and I’m ready to learn and get better.”