Bath County High School (VA) prospect John Phillips suffered an unfortunate ending to his junior season, tearing the ACL and MCL in his left knee in the final regular season game. There was some question as to how he would return from the injury this year, but Bath County Head Coach Will Fields says there is no cause for concern.
“I think so,” Fields replied when asked if Phillips was back to normal from the knee injury. “It’s not slowing him down any. He kind of hit the ground running as soon as he was cleared to play. He may have been a little tentative in the early practices, but once he mixed it up a little bit he was fine.”
The 6-6, 250-pound Phillips has already improved upon his catches and yards numbers from 2003. Phillips has tallied 28 catches for 547 yards and 3 touchdowns in 8 games. He has been a solid defensive end as well.
While tight end is his likely position on the next level, don’t rule out Phillips playing elsewhere.
“[The UVa coaches] say they’ve got a lot of guys his size, so they’ll have to decide where he plays once he’s on campus,” Fields said. “They like him as a tight end, but they are not locking anything in stone. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play defensive end either.”
Phillips possesses solid speed (4.75 in the 40) and athleticism, but his main strength as a tight end is his ability to catch the football.
“John catches the ball in traffic real well, which is something that really separates him,” Fields said. “He may need to improve his speed and agility some to be more effective on that level. I don’t think he’s slower than last year, but I think he’d be faster if not for the setback. The doctors say it takes 12 to 18 months to be fully healed. He’ll continue lifting and his running program this off-season, so he’ll get stronger and faster” before getting to Virginia.
Phillips has been keeping in close contact with the UVa coaches, especially primary recruiter Danny Rocco. Phillips will attend at least one of the final 2 home games.
Academically, Phillips will easily qualify with a 3.6 GPA and a little under 1000 on the SAT. He is taking the SAT again to see if he can get above 1000.
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