Gorman's Philippi Beaming after Navy Visit

It's been more than a week since Bishop Gorman (NV) S/LB Marc Philippi returned to the Las Vegas area from a visit to Annapolis, but if the time he spent at the Naval Academy during his short visit offered any clues to his impending college decision, it may be that a return trip isn't too far off.

The last time GoMids caught up with Philippi, the three-time state champion said he was looking forward to a January visit to Navy after spending December checking out the University of Montana. Since that time Philippi has added another scholarship offer (his third FBS offer -- from the University of New Mexico) and also visited UNLV in addition to contemplating an offer from Northern Arizona. But Navy may have stolen the show during the first full weekend of the month. Speaking exclusively to GoMids for the first time since returning, Philippi gave us the full rundown on what he liked about his time at Navy, in which he learned he would likely be a direct entry recruit. Hosted by current Navy slotback John Howell, Philippi not only came away impressed at the on-field opportunity at playing for Navy, but came away with a new respect for the dynamics exhibited by service academy student-athletes. Here are some of the highlights from GoMids' interview.

On Navy student athletes and how they differ from other university athletes:

"It's really a special feeling when you walk on the campus that really separates itself from other universities I've been to. It's also a different type of athlete that goes there. I'm not saying the athletes from other colleges aren't as good, but it's more of a well-rounded athlete that cares just as much about their academics and character and everything, and applying that to how they play on the football field."

On his first impression of John Howell and Navy football players:

"It was the first time I got to meet football players who went to the Academy and played a sport and went there. It's a little different of a deal when you play a sport there. You have to organize yourself better and manage your time because you have practice and weights and everything along with the rigorous academic schedule."

On the lifestyle of a Navy football player, and seeing himself living it:

"I didn't really know how the day went as far as schedule. I knew it was different from regular colleges and universities I've been to, but (John Howell) said it was more like they have six periods during the day. You have lunch in between there and football meetings in there, and you have time for weightlifting and practice. Then you're back the rest of the night studying. You don't have much down time. You're always busy doing something, which is good."

On playing early as a freshman, and opportunities in 2011:

"I asked about the chance to play early, and they said if you're the better player they have a couple of freshmen who start each year. Even if you don't start your freshmen year, the kids who work hard and stay with it in the offseason are the kids who end up playing. So I feel like I have a good chance to play early or to contribute in a major way. And the good thing is there, is if you get some time on the playing field – like if I get some time like next year – then you're going to Ireland and Penn State and all those big games. So you have a lot of opportunity for great experiences as a freshman."

On Annapolis and how it differs from Las Vegas

"It's a different environment. It's different scenery and weather. Everything is different compared to Nevada. It's smaller than Las Vegas, but you have Washington DC and Baltimore close by, so that's a cool thing I like. It's a different kind of town even just looking at the downtown area with the different kinds of buildings and everything, and it's always good to experience a different atmosphere from where you've grown up and where you're from."

On coach Ken Niumatalolo:

"When I first saw him he reminded me that he knew me and saw me as a little boy, but he seemed like a great guy. The one thing they emphasize there is being sort of a ‘brotherhood,' which I like. I know when you have that sort of camaraderie and feeling you're going to be more successful during your football season and after, when you building connections in your working career. That's another thing I liked about that, and (coach Niumatalolo) seemed like a good guy who was in it for all the right reasons. He cares about all his players and likes being a coach there and likes his job."

Comparing his visit to Navy with visits to non service academy schools:

"My two other visits I've been on are Montana and UNLV. Montana is more of a small town atmosphere where the whole town is really into the football team and university. UNLV, well, I kind of grew up around here, so I knew what to expect. The program hasn't been historically too good but they're always looking to turn it around and have great guys there. Navy is a little bit different. It's not your typical college experience. With Navy, it's kind of like comparing oranges to apples. It's just two different visits and experiences, and I would rank it one of my favorites."

On picking up an offer from New Mexico:

"They offered like two weeks ago. (Head Coach Bob Davie) called me right after my visit to Navy. They are looking at me more as a safety, which is different from my other offers and something to think about. I'm not sure what I want to play but it's another good opportunity."

Philippi plans to visit the University of New Mexico the weekend of January 21-22 and said he will most likely make his college decision with "a few days" of that visit. GoMids.com will be the first to bring you news of whether or not he chooses to make Annapolis his home for the next four years.

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