Question: How do you feel recruiting has gone? It is so far ahead numbers-wise of this time last year, but then last year's class turned out pretty darn good.
Phillips: "I think we have some aggressive guys on our staff. Tee Martin and Mike Summers have done an unbelievable job in recruiting. David Turner has, too, along with other guys on our staff. We have not been afraid to offer. We know what we want.
"Last year it was, ‘We don't have enough commitments.' Now it is, ‘I hope we are getting the right ones.' You can't win. We usually are the first staff when some of the so-called big name people lose players that they are picking on. That means we know how to evaluate. You just have to be patient with us and see the end results. We know we are getting the right players.
"If you look at those last five, six or seven commitments we got last year, those were players, That was our plan. We wanted to lay in the weeds knowing there were some good players out there. We will do it this year. We will try to hold some scholarships. We are starting to pull back right now and not take many commitments right now because we want to hold some scholarships. Everybody thinks they are going to Florida, Georgia, Florida State, Miami or Alabama at this time of year, but everybody can't go there. We will be waiting there for them."
Question: Who is the one incoming freshmen that you think might surprise the most people just because we don't know that much about him?
Phillips: "I think Avery Williamson will be one that will surprise some people. I am looking forward to seeing Miles Simpson because he is a big, physical back that you have to have in this league. We have not had guys like him and Brandon Gainer. We have not had those big backs that can withstand the pounding. We have had to use five or six little guys to hold up during the season."
Question: What returning player are you most anxious to see make a big move quickly when drills start in August?
Phillips: "I want to see (safety) Winston Guy. We have been talking about potential he has to be a great player, but potential means he has note done it yet. I want to see it early. If not, he has some people breathing down his neck in Josh Gibbs and Dakotah Tyler. Both those guys are right there and both have chance to be good players. If Bailey can make on campus, he can play. Winston has to show up or he will be watching. He has unbelievable potential."
Question: Still confident the defensive and offensive lines are going to be fine?
Phillips: "I think Collins Ukwu had a really good spring. We think he can be a difference maker. Coach Turner has lit a fire under him and I think he can be a different player this year playing the opposite side of DeQuin Evans. We didn't get to see Taylor Wyndham this spring but we think he is a solid player and could be a starter."
Question: Is this an important summer training-wise for redshirt freshman defensive tackle Mister Cobble?
Phillips: "It is important, especially academically. He has some work he has to get done academically and also physically he has to do. One things we have done is that our GPA went from 2.3 to 2.7. There were a couple of guys that didn't carry their weight and he was one of them. He also has to change his body physically."
Question: Want to tell me who the quarterback will be?
Phillips: "I can tell you this. We will have somebody behind the center."
Insights from Joker Phillips
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