Phillips Ready to Visit Childhood Favorite

Landstown (VA) tight end Rashad Phillips just wanted a ring. All the accolades and attention is just "extra" to him.

After playing football as a freshman and sophomore for the Virginia prep power, Phillips didn't play as a junior, choosing to focus on basketball instead. But it took the success of teammates like Percy Harvin and Damon McDaniel to convince him to hit the gridiron in 2005.

"I wanted to focus on basketball," Rashad Phillips told Pack Pride. "But I kind of missed playing football. I wanted to get back and play with Percy and Damon too. That was important, hearing from them on how the season went.

"I didn't expect all of this to happen though. It's extra to me. I just wanted to play and get a state championship ring and now I have some scholarship offers."

Landstown wasn't able to repeat as state champions, losing in the Group AAA Division 6 state championship game 28-7 to Oakton. Phillips didn't get a ring, but his stellar play earned all-state honors and the attention of several college programs.

Starting at tight end and defensive end, Phillips finished the year with 23 sacks, 33 catches and six touchdowns. He also blocked five punts and returned two of them for scores.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound prospect received scholarship offers from Kent State, Cincinnati, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Maryland, and NC State among others. He has already taken official visits to Kent State, Cincinnati, Maryland and Syracuse. Which trip did he like the best?

"My best visit was probably Cincinnati," said Phillips. "I just had a great time up there. They are building new facilities, and it was just real nice."

Although he enjoyed his visit to Cincinnati, the Bearcats are not his favorite.

"My favorites are Syracuse and Maryland right now," he said. "Mainly it's because of the position. They are recruiting me to play tight end.

"It's going to be a big role in my decision. I want to play tight end."

Surprisingly absent from his list of favorites are the in-state programs: Virginia and Virginia Tech. Phillips will not visit either school as they are no longer under consideration.

"I didn't really want to mess with UVA or Virginia Tech, so I just told them that last week," he said. "I wasn't really interested."

The wildcard is NC State. Former Wolfpack assistant Manny Diaz formed a strong relationship with Phillips and now NC State linebackers coach Steve Dunlap is handling his recruitment. Another factor in the Wolfpack's favor is Phillips grew up a fan.

"I liked watching them play basketball, that was the main thing," he said. "I liked watching Julius Hodge play. Then when I started seeing I could go somewhere in football, I started watching their football team.

"I think they are good and they are going to be real good in the future. The head coach seems cool, and I want to get a chance to see how it all is."

To land his signature, NC State must overcome the current lead held by Syracuse and Maryland. He will be in Raleigh this weekend for his final official visit and is eager to see what the Wolfpack has to offer. Do they have a chance to secure a verbal from the rising prospect?

"They definitely have a chance," he said. "I want to see what it is like down there on my visit. I haven't been yet and I want to meet the coaches and players, and I want to see the facilities.

"I'm probably going to decide late next week or maybe the week after."


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