Minnesota WR signee Phillip Howard gets to live out his childhood dream of becoming a Golden Gopher

Robbinsdale (Minn.) Cooper wide receiver and new Gopher signee Phillip Howard is the latest Gopher to sign in the 2016 class and he went in-depth with GopherDigest.com to share more about his reasons to sign with Minnesota.

GopherDigest.com: What is your current height and weight? What weight would the Minnesota staff like you to report at this summer?

PH: 5'11", 180 lbs. They didn't give me a specific weight they wanted me at. 

GopherDigest.com: What are your individual and team goals you hope to accomplish during your college career?

PH: Individually would be to get stronger and become a more physical player. Team goal is to win a Big Ten title. 

GopherDigest.com: What are you looking to work on the most this spring to prepare yourself for Big Ten football?

PH: I'll be working on the game as a whole. Just being stronger and smarter about it. 

GopherDigest.com: What future moment are you looking forward to the most as a Golden Gopher?

PH: Enrolling in classes and starting practice.

GopherDigest.com: What was the main reason you chose to attend the University of Minnesota?

PH: It felt like home and it was a childhood dream to play for the Gophers.

GopherDigest.com: What team do you want to beat the most as a Gopher and why?

PH: Every team because every game is important.

GopherDigest.com: Is there any unfinished academic business or are you all set to enroll at Minnesota?

PH: All set.

GopherDigest.com: If you don't make it to the NFL, where do you see yourself in 10 years?

PH: I see myself with my Minnesota degree and a good job.

GopherDigest.com: What is it about Coach Claeys and the coaching staff that makes you want to play for them?

PH: Ilike their style of coaching and the way things do things around the program. 

GopherDigest.com: What is something you learned about the University of Minnesota that surprised you during the recruiting process?

PH: Just how great the coaching staff there is. 

GopherDigest.com: What position do you expect to play at Minnesota? What other position did the Gopher staff mention as a possibility?

PH: They decided they want me to play wide receiver and I trust their decision and going to play my hardest there. 

GopherDigest.com: What have the coaches told you regarding how they plan to utilize your strengths as a player?

PH: They plan on utilizing me in the slot position and as a playmaker with the ball in my hands. 

GopherDigest.com: Have you had any communication with other Minnesota recruits and if so what?

PH: We have a group message and talk often. 

GopherDigest.com: What player do you model your game after and why?

PH: I'd say KJ Maye because of his athleticism and the way he made the transition from quarterback to wide receiver and his playmaking ability there. I also think a little bit of Tavon Austin too because of his speed. 

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