But forget the background. As of now, Phillips is no longer just another Southeastern Conference squad walk-on. He holds a full-ride, athletic scholarship from Mississippi State University. He and fellow volunteer Bulldog linebacker Kelan Chairs were both put on football grant last week by Coach Dan Mullen.
This is always a great story regardless of background. For Phillips? It’s that much more special. One of nine brothers, as well as four sisters; a college guy whose way is being paid for by one of those siblings; a converted quarterback-to-tight end-to-linebacker who stuck out all the changes of both position and coaches; and just plain somebody who stuck out the fiscal and physical challenges to hold a place on a SEC roster.
Now, he’s on entirely equal standing with any of the five- or four-star signees for Mullen. And maybe the more special for it. Oh, and in a touch that couldn’t be scripted…when Phillips told the family (mother and siblings as his father passed in October 2013), the same brother who’d been footing his college bills happened to be home from duty at Fort Benning.
As Phillips said, this door had to have been opened by Somebody.