Player Spotlight: Justin McPhail
"The coaches told us a little about the program and what they expected from their student/athletes," said Justin McPhail. "I made the trip with both of my parents, and they really impressed us. My mom loved all of the coaches. I had been there for Junior Day and got to see the facilities. Coach (Charlie) Dickey recruits my area. He called me last week. We have a pretty good relationship. I really like everything I seen from Kansas State. It's a great program."
Dickey recruited Jade Cathey to the Wildcats in the Class of 2011. He certainly couldn't have missed McPhail on visits to Liberal last season. He made 128 tackles, nine sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception, a pass deflection, and a fumble recovery as a junior outside linebacker. McPhail rushed for close to 400 yards on offense averaging 5.8 yards per carry and eight touchdowns. He also had five kickoff returns for a 25.4 yard average per return.
"The main thing I got better at last season was getting off blocks," McPhail stated. "I made better use of my hands. As a sophomore I played middle linebacker. This season I played on the outside. We're going to a new 4-3 defense next season and I'll move back to middle linebacker."
McPhail, 6-foot-1, 225-pounds was named 1st team All-State (Kansas 5A) and 1st team All-WAC conference despite his team, the Redskins, finishing at 3-6 on the year.
"The three schools expressing interest right now are KU, Kansas State, and Tulsa," said McPhail. "I'm planning on camping at KU and Kansas State this summer. I'm hoping to play at a successful program in college. So far I've liked all of the schools I've visited."
McPhail participated in the Army All-American Combine in San Antonio, Texas in January. Since then he's competed in wrestling and track and field in the shot put and discus. He's hoping to have a big summer showing and senior year to turn the interest he's receiving into offers.
"I'm working on getting faster," said McPhail. "I'm at about a 4.6 in the 40 [yard dash]. The main thing for me next season is just to keep getting better at the basics, make solid tackles, read offenses, and play fast. It's always been a goal of mine to win the WAC conference. Hopefully we can get that done and go from there."
Liberal is in the southwestern part of the state of Kansas near the Oklahoma panhandle. McPhail wants to pursue a degree in Geology in college. He reports a GPA of 3.57. He wears jersey No. 47 for the Redskins.
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