Amone has a change of plans

Florida linebacker and 2011 BYU commit Phillip Amone can't wait to get to Utah. In fact, he planned on graduating early from Dr. Phillips High School in order to join his future teammates at BYU in the spring. But, there's been a change in plans.

This was Phillip Amone's final year to leave his mark in Orlando, Florida before leaving to play college football. The 6-foot, 220-pound Amone had plans to finish his playing days in the Sunshine State with a bang.

"It went well," Amone said. "We lost in the semifinals but we were a young team. Not a lot of people expected us to do as well as we did. Personally, I feel like it was my best season as far as playing at the top of my game."

At the beginning of the season, Amone elevated his game and dominated opponents from sideline to sideline. Then without warning, he suffered an untimely torn ACL that ended his playing days as a Panther.

"I was the only returning starter on defense but felt we could have gone a lot further than we did. We have 10 regular season games and I got injured during that sixth one."

Although his high school football career came to an abrupt end, Amone claims the rehabbing of his knee went well.

"I'm fine now and the knee is good," Amone said. "After suffering that knee injury I had to sit out those last games and those two playoff games."

Amone wanted to get an early jumpstart on college life, although things didn't go according to plan.

"My original plan was to graduate early so I could get out to BYU and enroll early," said Amone. "Things changed though. I guess with all the return missionaries that BYU's got, they don't know exactly how many scholarships they're going to have, so I was unable to come to BYU early as originally planned."

Amone, who boasts a 3.7 GPA and 1050 SAT score, may not be enrolling at BYU early, but he's going ahead with his graduation plans.

"Yeah, I'm still going to graduate early," he said. "I'm done with all of my classes, so I'll just be able to focus on my knee and get bigger, stronger and faster."

With no scholarship available initially, Amone is adjusting his plans.

"I don't plan on greyshirting or anything like that," he said. "The plans have kind of changed a little bit, you know, with the injury and not being able to enroll early. My plan is to now just go on my mission first, so I'm going to still graduate early, focus on my knee, get a part-time job to save up some money and then hopefully head out in the summer. By that time I'll be healthy and ready to go.

"I won't turn 19 until next September. I was told that it's almost positive that I'll be able to leave a little early and get out around late June or early July. That way I can return home around that time prior to fall camp and have a few months to really work hard and get myself back into shape before the season starts."

Amone was supposed to be one of two linebackers from the state of Florida committing to BYU. However, Bobby Wolford rescinded his BYU commitment and decided to play for Boston College instead.

"I was actually shocked by that. Before he decommitted, he was going strong with his decision to be a Cougar. He said he was happy with his decision."

A member of the Catholic faith, it was Wolford's strong belief in religious principles that attracted him to the private religious institution of BYU. However, when Boston College – a Catholic college closer to home – came calling with a full-ride scholarship offer, Wolford made his own change of plans.

"I remember when we were up there at BYU together, he was saying how Boston College was his dream school," recalled Amone. "I remember him saying that if they were to offer it would be hard for him to turn it down, so I don't think it was done out of anything negative towards BYU. It was just that he got an offer from his dream school, and, you know, everyone has that one dream school they want to play for and when it comes around it's hard to turn down."

Much like Boston College came calling for Wolford, Amone has received some interest from colleges following his commitment to BYU.

"I've always kept in contact with Florida State and Miami," said Amone. "When they talked to me after I had committed to BYU they said, ‘Aw man, when a LDS kid commits to BYU we rarely ever see them decommit from BYU.' Also, some other colleges like Georgia Tech have called me to see how strong of a commit I was to BYU. Also Maryland and N.C. State have done the same. I think they just wanted to touch bases with me and see how strong of a commit [I was].

"It's funny because now they're asking me if I'm going to take any more official visits, but I'm only going out for one official visit. I'm set to go out next week to BYU and that will be my only official visit."

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