Have any of you DFW locals or guys out west seen this guy play? I really like what I read about him. Not the absolute prototype size-wise, maybe, but everything else about him sounds great as a Mo backer. Sounds like he could be had in the 4th or so.
With the way this team locker room is, I think we need more people with his attitude.
Father’s advice serves him well
Today’s East-West Shrine Game will be one last chance for linebacker Jason Phillips to show A&M’s loss was a gain for TCU
By STEVE CAMPBELL Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
Jan. 16, 2009, 9:45PM
Jason Phillips wanted to be a Texas A&M Aggie. He wanted even more to be wanted.
When the TCU Horned Frogs made the commitment to offer a scholarship that the Aggies wouldn’t, Phillips took the fork in the road that led from Waller to Fort Worth. A&M made a belated scholarship offer, but Phillips had reached the point of no return.
“A&M came in kind of late, and it kind of (ticked) me off,” Phillips said. “So I went to TCU wanting to prove a point.”
Phillips proved his point emphatically long before he received the invitation to play in the 84th East-West Shrine Game today at Robertson Stadium. He started 50 of a possible 51 games at TCU, becoming the first Mountain West defensive player to make first- or second-team all-conference in four consecutive seasons.
The Horned Frogs went 41-10 during that time, finishing seventh in the final 2008 AP rankings. The Aggies went 25-24, finishing at the bottom of the Big 12 South standings in 2008.
“I’m glad I made that decision,” Phillips said. “I have no regrets. But that first year, I was wondering.”
TCU coach Gary Patterson recruited Phillips, who was the District 18-4A Most Valuable Player as a senior, to play fullback. Near the end of spring practice after his red-shirt freshman season, the coaches decided to convert Phillips to linebacker.
“He was irate,” said Phillips’ father, Jim. “I said, ‘Just show them what you can do.’ ”
Jim Phillips was in a position to offer the sort of counsel most fathers can’t. He was the coach at Waller for 18 seasons, posting a 103-84 record and developing some four dozen players who earned college scholarships. Jason Phillips kept his frustration to himself and worked his way on to the first-team defense by the time the next season opened. He emerged as the leading tackler on an 11-1 team that led the nation in takeaways.
“Growing up around my dad taught me not to question any coaches,” said Jason, whose purple and white No. 39 jersey is likely to be out of circulation for a while at TCU, according to Patterson. “Do exactly what they want every time. That’s my character. I’m a hard player. I keep my nose down. I don’t talk back. I don’t cause any problems. I play hard. I have my dad to thank for that.”
Jason was the Waller ball boy in grade school. By the time he was in the eighth grade, he had become what Jim described as a “field house rat.” The family home was across the street from the school, and at nights Jason would take the keys to let himself into the field house and lift weights. In his junior and senior seasons, he was team captain and made all-district.
“I can tell you how smart I was,” said Jim, now the coach at Greenville High in the Dallas area. “I didn’t play Jason on defense much.”
Jason was a wishbone quarterback, passing for 1,070 yards and rushing for 1,291 as a senior. He meant too much to the offense to risk using on defense except for special situations. The same speed that made him a regional qualifier in the hurdles serves him well chasing down ball-carriers and receivers in college. At 6-1 and 235 pounds, Phillips regularly turns in 4.5 times in the 40-yard dash.
He led TCU in tackles three times in the past four seasons. In his first college game, he helped TCU pull out a 17-10 victory at Oklahoma.
In his final college game, the Poinsettia Bowl, he helped TCU shut down Boise State 17-16. His body of work earned him an invitation to the West team in the Shrine Game.
To the next level
“It gives me a chance to play against some of the bigger-name people,” said Jason, who also has an invitation to next month’s NFL draft combine. “Being at TCU, we go against some really good guys — Utah, BYU, Oklahoma a couple years. But this gives me a chance to show that I’m good against anybody.”