J.B. Phillips - TE - 6-4, 235, 4.7/40 - Colleyville, TX (Heritage) - His first official visit of the year, J.B. didn't have much in the way of expectations. It was a chance to analyze a school for it's strengths, evaluate it as to if it had any weaknesses and see for himself if anything stood out about the whole experience. Some things did. "I really liked what I saw." J.B. said. "I have to see how well they do in academics. I am going to college to get a degree and I was very impressed with all the coaches and academic people I talked to for the fact that they are all up front with me. They told me that some of that majors would be difficult, but they knew all the players and where they were in the program and they said that no matter what I wanted to do, they would help make it work for me."
"I think that just the whole fact that the whole fact of how well they take care of their student athletes there. Just through football, academics, the atmosphere, just seems to be centered around the athlete."
And lately, it's a program centered around a little turmoil. Not negative mind you (depending on who you talk to), just almost a limbo status when it comes to coaches being replaced with coaches nobody quite knows as of yet. That situation doesn't effect J.B. too much considering his side of the ball, but he said that the situation at NU right now didn't reflect on either the staff or himself this weekend. "I see it (Nebraska) as a program that is going to make a really big rebound next year. "J.B. said. "I expect very good things from them."
With the status seemingly a non-issue, the team itself and how it does things is what usually concerns a player most. How do they fit in? Does that system emphasize what they do best? J.B. says yes to both. "One of my strong points is the ability to block well, so that's one of the reasons Nebraska jumps out at me." J.B. said. "I can see it as an opportunity to see what I can do."
Nebraska is also attractive not because of how the tight end does things, but how NU does things with their tight ends. "Tight end is a very important position to their offense." J.B. said. "Even if they are running the ball, they are running the option which heavily involves the tight end."
Knowing that whatever team you are looking at uses your position heavily pretty much seals the deal , at least in regards to being interested. The fact that NU offered him in writing while there didn't hurt either. "It makes you feel good as a player and it definitely lets you know that they are interested in you." J.B. said.
And NU isn't the only one that is interested in J.B. Actually, the list might grow, but for now, it's Kansas State and Oklahoma State that share the limelight with the Huskers as favorites for this Texas standout. And visits to those two schools are scheduled for mid to late January. Oklahoma State has offered and Kansas State (J.B. reported) will offer him when he visits.
That's taking it awfully close to signing day, but don't expect this decision to make it that far. "I expect to know soon after." J.B. said in regards to after his last visit. "I hope to come to a decision real soon after that."
Check out this update on the Inside NU&Recruiting board along with added info. , plus tons of other stuff on recruits like interviews you don't see on the front page, actual audio interviews and some of the latest on changes taking place in recruiting around the country
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619