College coaches, just like their NFL bretheren, are faced with the task of trying to project how a player that performed in a different scheme will work in their own. In this case, they had an endorsement from White, who said several times that Phillips should fit in well with WVU's one back sets.
"We ran a lot of option and assingment oriented football, because we aren't as big up front as some teams," White explained. "I think he'll do really well with stretch plays and zone blocking - running plays like that."
At 5-11 and 205 pounds with a 4.5 fourty yard dash time, Phillips is a combination of power and speed, according to White.
"He has everything you look for. He can run inside and outside. He also catches the ball really well. He catches it with his hands, and rarely lets it get into his body. I think the staff up at West Virginia will be surprised by how well he catches it."
The strong and stocky Phillips played at running back and kick returner for Davidson High school in Hilliard, Ohio. While he could have been a standout defensive performer as well, the reisk was to great, according to White.
We have enough players that we try only to play guys one way," White explained. "We just didn't want to take the risk."
Although White believes that Phillips coupld be a very good player at a safety position, he also is convinced that running back is his best spot. White also added one other note that is becoming just as important in the recruiting game as onfield talent.
"The only thing that really matches his ability on the field is his character."
< Phillips was obviously impressed with what he saw of the Mountaineer program, and decided to go ahead and commit, even though he hadn't planned to do so before the trip. He has not yet qualified, but is taking the ACT again this weekend.