“Coach Howell came to see me and he talked about a scholarship that might be opening up,” said Philyaw. “Basically what he wants me to do is [to stay] in contact with him a lot this weekend and next week because if it is open he’s looking forward to offering me. He wants to make sure that I can adjust to BYU if the offer does come my way, and he wants to make sure that I want to be at BYU.”
The reason for a need for another JC defensive back is due to a possible scholarship opening up in BYU’s secondary. Deseret News columnist Dick Harmon tweeted out that Dallin Leavitt informed BYU coaches on December 1st that he would be transferring. This is perhaps the reason for an open scholarship and opportunity for Philyaw to join the program.
“Basically he was telling me that the reason that I didn’t get offered a long time ago was because they didn’t think they would need to offer a JC cornerback this year. They felt they didn’t need one this year,” said Philyaw. “I guess due to some possibilities of some transfers - I guess there’s a [defensive back] that might be transferring and he didn’t really tell me all the details -, and if that is the case he knows I can be a part of that build. He just wants to make sure that I want to be there at BYU, and that I would do my best to follow the honor code at BYU which won’t be a problem for me.”
Despite only playing eight games on the season, Philyaw racked up some nice numbers from his cornerback position.
“Well, I basically played eight games because I got ejected for targeting in the first quarter,” said Philyaw. “I basically played eight out of 10 games for targeting, but I finished the year with 40 tackles, four interceptions but one was called back so three interceptions, 11 pass breakups, and one forced fumble.”
Still his performance was good enough to be honored as one of the better cornerbacks in the Northern California area where he is waiting to see if he will receive All-American honors.
“I finished with First Team All-NorCal honors for JUCO, and I’ll find out here in a few weeks if I made All-American honors,” said Philyaw. “They’ll be voting soon so I’ll find out if I’m on that All-American list. I’ve been trying to prove to them that I deserve the offer so hopefully that will come my way.”
Philyaw has two offers currently on the table; one from Idaho and the other from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He made it perfectly clear that if BYU offers he’ll commit to Bronco Mendenhall on the spot.
“I feel like BYU would be the best place for me,” said Philyaw. “If they offer me I’m going to commit. I’ve wanted to be up at BYU ever since I took an unofficial visit up there. The atmosphere up there, how much the fans love the players up there, and the communications program which is my major, is really good up there. When I [visited] I was really impressed with that. I feel like BYU would take me away from all the side distractions, and I would be up there strictly for business, for better schooling and basically [to just] play football.”
No official word from BYU has come out yet concerning a player transfer. However, that could change if what Harmon has said holds water. In the meantime, Philyaw is excited about the possibility of what lies ahead. For him it’s simply become a waiting game to see what happens.
“Yeah, I’m really excited about the possibility and opportunity,” said Philyaw. “Hopefully when Coach Howell and I get in contact I’ll get that offer and I’ll be committing, so I’m just hoping I get that coming my way. I’ve been trying to prove to them all this season that I’m worthy of that. I had a big first big three games this season and had a good season [overall].
“He just told me that I have to be really patient with them because they want to know if BYU is where I really want to be. I just have to be patient because it could happen within the next few weeks or so.”
TotalBlueSports.com will check back in with Philyaw over the next couple weeks and report on any developments with regards to his potentially being offered by BYU.
[Editor’s Note] with the recent news that the University of Alabama-Birmingham will shut down its football program, it is unclear if Philyaw’s offer remains valid.