Quarterback Phillip Ely plays for perennial powerhouse Plant HS in Tampa, FL, the winner of three state championships in the past four years. Besides winning, Plant has also been known to produce talent, especially at the quarterback position with Robert Marve and Aaron Murray signing division I programs, and Ely who already has an impressive list of offers will be the next.
The 6-foot-1, 186 pound Ely is undefeated as a starter going 19-0 over the last two seasons. Despite being sidelined with a back injury at the start of 2009, Ely still threw for over 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns. As a sophomore Ely filled in for an injured Aaaron Murray, going 7-0, while throwing for over 1,700 yards and 19 scores.
"I feel real good right now," said Ely. "Last year I came in as a junior and was a little young, but now it's my team and I got to push these guys."
After winning the class 5A title last year, there is no question this is Ely's team and he's been working hard to prepare for his upcoming senior season.
"I've had a real good offseason," said Ely. "I put on some weight, got better in the film room, became more involved with the community, and worked on all the intangibles that come with being a quarterback."
Last year Ely weighed only around 165 pounds, but this spring he looks bigger and more muscular than 2009.
"I gained about 20 pounds since last year, and I guess it's all solid muscle," said Ely. "I've gotten a lot stronger too; I'm benching around 300 pounds."
This spring Schools have taken notice of the Plant QB, and his offer list continues to grow.
"It's been crazy, there have been a lot of coaches coming by the school all spring," said Ely. "I feel like I've truly been blessed."
One of the schools that offered Ely is USF, and Ely talks about the hometown Bulls.
"I like USF, they‘re a good school and have a bunch of great guys over there," said Ely. "I love quarterback Coach Peter Vaas, we talk all the time, and Head Coach Skip Holtz is great also. We have his son who plays QB on our team now and he's a great kid, and I like him a lot."
"Coach Holtz is an awesome guy and I think he's going to turn it around over there. I know a few guys over there and they say he's a great motivator and everything like that."
With the spring evaluation period now over and 20 offers in hand, Ely said he has no favorites or even started to trim his list yet.
"No I don't have any favorites or even started to break it down yet," said Ely. "I said to coach the other day where my going this summer? Because I don't know yet and he doesn't either, but we're sit down and talk about it."
Ely says he plans on being very busy this summer going to go to team camps, 7on7 tourneys and taking some visits.
"We'll be going to a lot of camps, and taking visits this summer. There's not going to be day where I'm going to be free. It's going to be pretty hectic," said Ely. "I'm not sure where yet, but I'm going to try and check out some of the west coast teams and see a lot of the schools that offered."
Plant has done very well at USF's Sling & Shoot 7on7 tourney, and Ely said he hopes to continue that trend.
"Yeah we've done very well there, and have try to keep it going," said Ely. "They have two camps coming up this summer, and I'm going to try and make them."
The Plant standout says he doesn't know if he'll be making an early choice or be taking it down to a signing day decision.
"Who knows? Only time will tell," said Ely. "I like to narrow some things down by the end of the summer."
Plant recently played its spring game losing 26-21 to Jefferson, but Ely said the spring loss is good for the two-time defending state champs.
"We had a great spring, they just wanted it more than we did, but I'm glad it happened like this. It's 2010 and this tells us who we are and that we got some work to do over the summer. This will be a spark for us."
Check back with USFNation as we keep you updated on Ely's summer visit schedule.