Profile: Kyle Philips
Position: Wide Receiver
Location: San Marcos (Calif.)
Weight: 180 pounds
Recruiting: This one came down to a UCLA-Utah battle with the Bruins able to pull it out in the end. Philips had just visited Utah two weeks ago, his second visit this off-season but Philips said UCLA's proximity to home, high end academics and chance to play right away were too hard to pass up. Also give a lot of credit to new WR coach Jimmy Dougherty. Dougherty had offered Philips when he was at Oregon and made the receiver a major priority as soon as he got to UCLA.
What to Like: Philips might have the best 'get off' and release of any receiver in the region. He's incredibly quick off the line, is tough to press and shows a great burst getting in and out of his breaks. He's both quick and fast, dynamic with the ball in his hands and has the top end speed to run away from a defense. Philips' best asset could be his toughness and the edge he plays with. Although only 5-11, he plays like he's 6-3 and is among the most physical pass catchers in the region. He plays with an edge and an attitude to him, call it a chip if you like, but he's one of those players that has a relentless motor to him, is a very willing blocker and is a highly competitive kid. He catches the ball extremely well, has a high football IQ and understands how to get open. He's already an advanced route runner, a dangerous return man in punts and kickoffs and is a player we could see competing for playing time in his freshman season.
Areas to improve: Philips can get better in all areas but doesn't have an area in his game we would label a weakness. He can continue to get faster and add strength to his frame. He projects in the slot so he doesn't need to add a ton of size but he plays a physical game for a WR so adding some bulk and strength while keeping his quickness will be key for him moving forward.
Overall Analysis: Philips is a great pickup for UCLA for multiple reasons. The Bruins had a huge need for wide receivers after getting shut out in the 2017 class. They'll be graduating a handful of receivers this coming season including starting slot WR Darren Andrews, so the opportunity for early playing time is there. Philips will be graduating early and will be able to take part in spring ball giving him an even bigger opportunity to play right away. He's also a tough kid and a tireless worker off the field and you can never have too many of those players in your program.