The 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive tackle from Coffeyville C.C. (KS) had committed to Arizona State in recent weeks, but decommitted this week ahead of his official visit to Iowa State. The Cyclones lead for the JUCO transfer, but he plans to visit South Florida and Colorado State next weekend before visiting Kansas on Jan. 30.
He left Iowa State coaches with a message Sunday.
“As of right now, I did tell the coaches [at Iowa State] that I’m taking all my visits before I commit again,” Philbert told AllCyclones.com. “But as of right now, after the 30th and that last visit to Kansas, I will commit to Iowa State.”
A commitment from Philbert, who has three years to play three, would give the Cyclones an offensive tackle they have been search for. Philbert has been told he is the lone JUCO tackle with an offer from Iowa State.
“They didn’t keep it a secret that I’m a priority, that they want me to come in and start right away,” Philbert said. “Iowa State is now my No. 1 school.”
Iowa State has visited both Philbert and his parents. Philbert said Mark Mangino will visit him in Kansas this week while Paul Rhoads will make a visit to see him sometime before his official visit to Kansas on Jan. 30.
“Coming from coach Rhoads, coach Mangino and coach Blaney, to them I’m a major priority,” Philbert said. “Coach Mangino kind of told me they put all their eggs in one basket with me. They want me to come in and start at left tackle next season. I’ll be one of the pieces to help them get over the hump and help them become one of the top teams in the Big 12.”
Arizona State, Philbert said, is no longer in the mix following his decommitment. All signs point to the tackle arriving at Iowa State, but nothing is guaranteed with three visits remaining.
Nonetheless, Philbert said it would take a lot of work to change his mind.
“I feel really comfortable in that decision [of Iowa State at No. 1],” Philbert said. “In order for me to change my mind on that, Kansas would really, really, really have to persuade my mind into not committing to Iowa State. I don’t necessarily see that happening.”