Two key offensive pieces for Hyattsville Dematha Catholic, Ruble is 6-9, 310 pounds and has over 13 scholarship offers despite playing football for only four years. Phillips is 6-1, 170 pounds and has less than half as many scholarship offers as Ruble despites years more experience.
But as the recruiting process goes along, their paths continue to overlap. On Monday, the two became scholarship material in the eyes of Wisconsin receivers coach Chris Beatty, joining Penn State, Rutgers and Virginia as schools that have offered both players.
"Coach Beatty being from the area plays a factor," Dematha Catholic head coach Elijah Brooks told Badger Nation. "The fact that the coach can come is and is down to earth is what's going to win over our boys. Not the fact that you have a great weight rooms and things like that. The ability to communicate with the players and make them and their parents feel comfortable, I think that's going to go a long way with our kids."
Rated three stars and the No.43 offensive tackle in the country by Fox Sports Next, Ruble only started playing organized football when he arrived as a high school freshman. His notoriety is even more impressive considering, according to Brooks, he didn't get quality game repetitions until his junior season.
"He's only played 12 games in his high school career," said Brooks. "He's come a long way. He's studying the game and has a very good concept of what we're trying to do."
Wisconsin and head coach Gary Andersen has targeted the offensive line as one of the key recruiting positions for the Badgers in the 2014 cycle. According to Brooks, Phillips, who has offers from Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech among others, has tremendous upside.
"Brock is an outstanding guy to coach," said Brooks. "Because he's new to the sport, he's a sponge, so he's one of the most coachable kids we have. He's getting better each and every day. Obviously his size stands out, but the more he lifts weights, the more he works on the game, the sky is the limit for him."
Phillips is the exact opposite of Ruble in terms of experience. Having played organized football his entire life, Phillips – a three-star athlete who also excels at basketball – is labeled by his coach as "one of the most dynamic players to ever come through the program." For a program that is looking for a dependable number two wide receiver, the pass-catching position is arguably number two on Andersen's priority list.
"He's an outstanding receiver who is very versatile and can play special teams," said Brooks of Phillips. "He's just a fluid, natural receiver. He's a good route runner, very good speed, great ball skills and just a student of the game. He has the ability to maximize it. You could put him at a slot or an outside position or a kick return because he can so much on the field."
This isn't the first time this year the Badgers have visited Dematha Catholic. UW has already made an impact on Brooks' tailback, three-star running back Taiwan Deal, who took an unofficial visit to Wisconsin earlier this month.
The Badgers have also offered receiver Chris Jones.
"When Taiwan came into Dematha, he was a tight end and had never played running back before," said Brooks. "He's also one who is completely raw and getting better at the position. He had a breakout year last year, close to 1,000 yards, and we're still looking for him to improve. He can have an outstanding senior year as long as he keeps developing."
Brooks said all four do not have a hard time frame in which to make their commitments.