He thought he was ready in the fall, roughly seven months removed from tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He was proven wrong on Nov.9 when he tore the same ligament again, removing any chance he would get a chance to play in 2010.
Paul Chryst wasn't prepared to have Phillips in any live action this spring, but the redshirt junior is making it hard on his offensive coordinator. Although he is only participating in passing drills, Phillips has been a part of all six practices.
Insisting that he'll be ready to compete for the starting job in the fall, Phillips talks to Badger Nation about his progression.
Badger Nation: After injuring your ACL for the second season in a row, was there any point you considered not playing football?
Phillips: No there was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to come back. I am a firm believer in the saying that everything happens for a reason. So I think that with the medical staff that we have here, everything will be alright and I just have to put the work in. That is paying off now, I have a long way to go still, but everything is kind of on its way.
Badger Nation: Is there anyone you have talked to that has been through what you are going through with two ACL injuries?
Phillips: Not really. No. I think with this past surgery, this one is more extensive then the first one was. The doc was just trying to make sure everything was tight, so I think it is just building strength with it and trying to be smart out here on the field.
Badger Nation: What are your goals for the spring and the summer?
Phillips: For the spring I didn't know how much I was going to participate, so my goal coming in was just to be engaged as much mentally as possible. Now that I am able to participate that is just a bonus. For the summer I am planning on pretty much being full go. By fall camp I should be ready and let the competition begin.
Badger Nation: Now that it has happened twice, how often do you think about it out on the field?
Phillips: That came a lot the first time, I would be very aware of people around my legs. But I think that going through that once will help me this time on the field. Just knowing the process will make it a lot easier.
Badger Nation: How much confidence does it give you that you are getting some bonus reps in the spring?
Phillips: I think any reps you can get will help. Being mentally involved in stuff, will help too.
Badger Nation: Do you think you can still win the starting quarterback job?
Phillips: Without a doubt. As far as I am concerned once I get ready to roll, I am excited about it and there is not a doubt in my mind that I will be able to compete for it.