DL/OL athlete emerges

Every school is looking for that big lineman who can move. Eric Phillips of Wenonah High School has recently emerged as a prospect.

According to his scouting report, Eric Phillips is a read-and-react type defensive end on running plays, who doesn't get caught out of position due to his willingness to contain the outside and play under control.

On the other hand, Phillips (6-5, 250) maintains a different personality on obvious passing downs. He fires off with his bulls-eye located between the quarterback's numbers, aiming dead center.

Like many football prospects, Phillips has work to do to get fully eligible. Specifically he needs to increase his test score. But if those concerns are taken care of, expect his star to rise in recruiting circles.

Certainly Alabama's coaches are aware of his talent and will be watching him this season on the field (and in the classroom).

"I grew up an Alabama fan," Phillips said. "I like the tradition and the players there. Plus, I know they're going to win."

Phillips finished his junior year with 50 tackles and three quarterback sacks. Those that saw Wenonah play last season report that he has similar talent to Lloyd Blevins, who signed with Auburn last season.

The big man from Birmingham reports a 4.80 best-clocking in the 40-yard dash.

As good as he is on defense, Phillip's long-range future may lie at offensive tackle. He wears a size seventeen shoe and his growth potential indicates he could become a prototype left tackle at the college level.

Phillips has superb feet and his long arms serve him well in pass protection.

He benches 315, squats 450, deadlifts 420, and power cleans 250. Over the summer Phillips has increased his bench press by 15 pounds and added 75 pounds to his squat. He told BamaMag.com that he hasn't maxed out yet on his other lifts.

He carries a 2.6 GPA and made 15 on his first attempt at the ACT.

Phillips says he's interested in Alabama, Auburn, UAB, Arkansas and Ole Miss. He recently added Southern Miss and Clemson to his list.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Alabama is looking for both defensive and offensive linemen in this year's class, so a combo athlete like Phillips would be valuable. However, the Tide can't afford to sign players unless there is a very good chance they will qualify and show up in the fall. Phillip's progress in the classroom this fall will be as closely watched as what he does on the playing field.

Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from TheInsiders.com.


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