Phillips Commits to BYU

Drew Phillips committed to Cougar coaches just following Tuesday's practice session. For Phillips, BYU is the place where he feels he can contribute the best while focusing on the things that are important for his personal growth. TBS caught up with Phillips to learn more of his story.

Drew Phillips is a 6-foot, 180-pound running back/slot receiver prospect from Boaz, Alabama. He recently completed the summer camp circuit, garnering some local offers along with offers from BYU, Wyoming, SMU and Central Michigan. Phillips decided Tuesday to commit to BYU, as the Cougars rose to become the best option in his mind.

"I fit in best with BYU's offensive system and I like how they play football," remarked Phillips on the heels of his commit. "In talking to the coaches there I really felt comfortable with them and the offense they explained to me. I can play running back or slot or maybe a little of both and I like that."

Phillips is a speedster that can give BYU and element of speed that is rarely found within the Cougar offense. While running backs such as Harvey Unga have provided very good overall play, a player such as Phillips can provide the sort of changeup that will potentially benefit the Cougar offense as a whole.

"I feel that I can outrun anyone on the field," he remarked. "I don't think many people look at me and think I'm as fast as reported, but every time I run forties and whatnot I prove that I'm as fast or faster than anyone I go up against."

Phillips reported a 4.39 forty time at Central Michigan's camp. Many scoffed at that time, believing it was inflated. Phillips then went on to Alabama's camp and proved that his recorded time at Central Michigan was no fluke.

"I remember the first time I was timed at Alabama and they had me at 4.6," he related. "I didn't like that and I thought it was wrong, so I told them to have me run it again, which they did. I ran it again and my time was 4.38, which they didn't believe, so they had me run it again. The last time I had about four different guys time me, with the lowest time being 4.38 again and the highest time being 4.45, so they believed me after that."

Phillips provides a very aggressive running style that goes along nicely with his overall top speed. "I'm not afraid of anybody," he said. "I know where I'm going on the field and I know how to split the gap and I'm real aggressive when I sense where the hole is. When I get to that hole I'm always going forward, but I can move side to side very well."

Phillips' film attests to his aggressive and purposeful style. The one thing Phillips has worked hard on to benefit his play is his overall strength.

"I was about 165 when I attended BYU's Junior Day and Coach Reynolds told me that I needed to get stronger to play at the college level, so I took that to heart," he related. "I've hit the weights hard and I'm about 175 right now. I plan to play at BYU around 180-185, that's my goal. You can get by at my weight I had last year in high school, but it's different in college."

Since Junior Day Phillips has been heavily recruited not just by BYU coaches, but by Cougar commit Jake Heaps as well. "Jake has really done well making me feel welcome at BYU. BYU is a big change for me and that was something I had to convince myself and my family about, but I just couldn't get it out of my head that it's the place I needed to be."

Phillips contacted Cougar assistant coach Patrick Higgins Tuesday and went on to speak with head coach Bronco Mendenhall and then running back coach Lance Reynolds.

"They just told me they were very excited," he said. "They've been waiting and were close to moving on, which is something they really didn't want to do, they said, since they liked me so much and what I could bring to the team."

Phillips believes that overall BYU was the best fit in all aspects that are important to him.

"I'll stay out of trouble at BYU," he said. "BYU is a great place to focus on what is important, which is getting a degree, improving as a person and playing football. I love BYU's offense, and in talking to Jake I feel that it's going to be perfect. He's real good at throwing the ball, but he needs someone good to hand it off to as well, and I believe I'm that guy. I can catch the ball real well too, so it's a great thing how much BYU throws it to their running backs. I'm very happy with my decision and so is my family. I can't wait to get back there and get going. I plan to go back up for the Florida State game, so I'm real excited about that."

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