When Bob Davie was hired at New Mexico, he said that he was looking for tough guys that wanted to work hard! And that is exactly what he found with Bishop Gorman HS (Las Vegas NV) safety/linebacker Marc Philippi.
"This year I was supposed to play strong safety but in the 2nd game of the season I broke my foot and had a screw put in it and 4 weeks later I played with it half broken and it was easier for me to play strong side linebacker so I ended up finishing the season playing that position," said Philippi.
What? A "half broken foot"! Yeah, I would say that qualifies Marc as being tough! Philippi could have taken the rest of the year off, but this young man played for a high school team in Bishop Gorman and their 3 state championships in a row that sitting out just wasn't an option.
"I played for a good high school team," said Philippi. "We had good coaches, had a tough schedule, and won three state championships. So I know how to win. I think my main focus should be to get everyone else especially those coming in with me to get them on the same page and us all working together."
That has to be music to Coach Bob Davie's ears as you have a tough hard-nosed player that is willing to play through the pain and be a leader as a freshman. That isn't something you see every day, but Philippi brings other things to Lobo Nation as well.
"My strengths as a football player are… I'm quick out of my break, make good pre snap reads, and just have a good feel for the game," said Philippi. "I spend a lot of time watching film and your not going to find another player more dedicated to know what the other team is doing."
So who else was recruiting you Marc?
"I had an offer from Navy, UNLV, Montana, and Northern Arizona and New Mexico. I narrowed it down to New Mexico, UNLV, and Navy and decided to go to UNM," says Philippi. And what was it that made you choose New Mexico.
"There were quite a few things," says Philippi. "I visited last week and I really like the town. It seems like a nice college town, I also liked the kids that came on the visit with me. I know a lot of them ended up committing as well so that was a big factor for me committing. To have a good recruiting class that comes in with you. I also got a good feeling from the coaching staff. Coach Davie, Coach (Jeff) Mills and Coach (DeAndre) Smith. We have a good head coach that knows what he is doing. He has been around and I have a lot of confidence that if we can change the culture of the program which is not to easy at first that we will be successful."
Marc you are listed as a safety/linebacker what position where you recruited to play at UNM?
"They kind of left it up to me, I can put on some weight on and play outside backer or I could cut down and play safety," says Philippi. "I played more of a true free safety my sophomore year, my junior year I played strong safety, and this year I was supposed to continue at strong safety but like I said I broke my foot and moved to linebacker. I'm thinking I want to play safety because I can go back and play LB later if I have to. It is easier to put on weight than cut down."
Anything you want to tell Lobo fans?
"I want to tell Lobo fans to watch out for this season as we have a good recruiting class. We are going to surprise them," exclaims Philippi!