Phillips Wants a Big Start

Dante (Omari) Phillips was the second commitment to the Florida Gators for the class of 2012, a commitment that dates back to October 2010. There was even another head coach at the helm of the Gators at the time and because of that length of time, he tends to get forgotten among fans. Phillips says, he plans on making an early statement at Florida.

By the time he finished high school he was the consensus top defensive tackle in the state of Florida, an U.S. Army All-American, and as important of a prospect in the class as anyone else. Dante Phillips says with all of that in mind, he hopes the folks at his school in Venice remember him for what he was on and off the field.

"Just an athlete and that I didn't slack off on the field or weight room," he said. "I also give 100% in everything I do. I am also a good kid and am always happy all the time."

Phillips plans on playing early at Florida and plans on making a statement in his first season on campus.

"I am working towards trying to get SEC All-Freshman and just want to be a dominant defensive tackle in the SEC," he said.

Before he does that, Phillips will have to tone up his body a bit, lucky for him he enjoys working out.

"I am 6-6 and 315," he said. "I am getting it right I really would like to be at 295 or so. I am fine with running, I love to run."

A guy that struggled in the classroom, he says, "I am fully qualified and will be there June 26". And when he arrives the staff should notice the time he has put in to make himself more ready for the competition.

"I am just stronger and bigger so that can stand my own when I get there," he said.

Florida linebacker coach D.J. Durkin recruits Venice for Florida and he along with defensive line coach Bryant Young who was a four time Pro-Bowler at his position, and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn all have let him know they need him early and often on the field.

"They told me that there is a place there for me to be able to play as a freshman," he said. "They lack depth at defensive tackle. I just know I have to go in there and work. I talked to Coach Young and Coach Durkin all the time.

"Coach Durkin is crazy, but a very cool dude. He is always joking around and cracking a joke.

"I look up to Coach Young because he has been where I want to be and he seems like a very humble dude and is ready to get me there and show me about my position.

"(Fellow 2012 signee) Dante Fowler hit me up and said that Coach Quinn is ready for him, Jonathan Bullard, and I to get there and get going."

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