Two-Way Star Jumps On Late Offer From Tigers

A report with comments from new Auburn commitment and signee Ladarius Owens, plus video, is featured.

Roanoke, Ala.--Ladarius Phillips, a 6-1, 275-pound two-way star for the Handley High School Tigers, said yes to a last minute scholarship offer from the Auburn Tigers.

On Wednesday morning at his school, he signed scholarship papers to play for Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers.

A Class 4A All-State defensive tackle as a senior, he also put up big numbers as a running back. He rushed for 1,145 yards and 16 touchdowns on 141 carries while playing in a Notre Dame Box offense.

Phillips led Handley to the semi-finals of the state playoffs before falling to eventual champion Jackson.

On defense he finished his senior season with 59 tackles with 13 for lost yardage, eight sacks and two forced fumbles.

Phillips, who says he chose the Tigers over Duke, Georgia Southern and Louisiana Tech, notes that he is pumped up to get the offer from the Tigers.

"I am really excited about going to Auburn," he says. "Auburn wants me to play running back and that is exciting, too. I like the fact that I am going to be a running back at a place like Auburn that plays great football."

Auburn has signed him as an athlete and there is also the possibility he could play defense for the Tigers.

A player who could may some fans of a high school version of former Wisconsin star Ron Dayne, Phillips is not just a power back. He can make defenders miss in one-on-one situations and notes, "That is because I?have played running back since I was young."

Coaches at Handley note that the four-year contributor rushed for more than 4,000 yards as a high school standout.

Ladarius Phillips

Phillips notes that his favorite game this past season featured a good night on both sides of the football. "In the Ashland game I rushed for something like 150 yards and I had five sacks," he says.

A player who also throws the shot put for the track team, he points out that he wants to major in physical education in college. "I want to be a coach," he says.

Commenting on his style as a running back, Phillips says, "I would say that I try to do things to get the job done. You can't always run everybody over. My footwork isn't excellent, but I know how to make people miss."

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