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Skyler Phillips Comes Back From Recruiting Mess – The Alumni Files

Here is a Great Recruiting Success Story For all to Read – Skyler Phillips Comes Back From Recruiting Mess – The Alumni Files

Skyler Phillips Comes Back From Recruiting Mess – The Alumni Files

One of the best comeback stories I have ever written is this short post from my Facebook Wall today.  That story is the follow up to one of the many stories I wrote about Skyler Phillips of Churchill High in Eugene, Oregon.  To catch up and understand what happened back in 2012 you might like to read this story which covers his instant rise to Top Recruit in 2012.   What happened after that is what I want ALL RECRUITS TO READ–  That is posted below-

Skyler Phillips is 6'3"- 335 Pounds and a Powerhouse man child!

At The Point this story was written Skyler Had overcome many obstacles but had an uncertain future.


Today- November  15th, 2014


For those of you that remember the stories on Skyler Phillips of Eugene that I covered in High school – this is a fascinating and excellent outcome.

I met Skyler at the the NIKE SPARQ combine; the best and most credible event in the Nation. He was a complete unknown other than in the Eugene area.  He was leaving the event when I saw him having finished his drills. His score of 98+ in his hand he thought he had done “Ok”.

Skyler is a quiet kid at first so he was wondering who I was.  Stopping dead in my tracks I realized that this massive kid had just posted the best score I had ever seen from a linemen; even the All Americans I had worked with.

At 335 lbs (at that time) he had just run a 5.14 laser timed 40; something I have not seen a 335 lb NFL linemen do. He looked at me in disbelief as I told him the news and finally cracked a little smile at the news as we spoke. I told him he was not allowed to leave until I connected him with Coach Brian Stumph of Student Sports who runs the event and knows as much as anyone in the US about this stuff.  

Skyler Phillips the day we met him after blasting a 98.58 SPARQ score

Skyler Phillips the day we met him after blasting a 98.58 SPARQ score

The media from that moment on and a few well placed phone calls propelled him to elite status within a few months. After we made a friendly phone call to the OSU staff he was invited to their one day showcase camp.  That led to an offer; his first offer and it was from a PAC 12 schools.

Skyler would gather other interest but none better then OSU so he verbally committed.  Beavers offensive line Coach Mike Cavanaugh would have been teaching him and we all believed he was on his way to a potential ALL PAC 12 career.

He attended THE OPENING at Nike which is reserved for 40 of the best Linemen in the Nation. His performance was cut short due to an INJURY at that event so he was not widely reviewed at all.  No matter Phillips was locked in with  Beavers.

The season came and the Churchill Lancers had a successful season making the playoffs.

Then the Impossible happened:  during this time OSU changed their mind about the big man.  While there are a number of stories on this but I was told that it was because they got the impression he was loosing interest or did not seem 100% on board.  The blow of being let go verbally hi Phillips hard because this was all he had lined up and the season was waning fast.

At this point he was committed to them verbally and had not pursued any other schools; the fact is that TEAMS RESCIND VERBAL OFFERS ALL THE TIME JUST LIKE PLAYERS DO-


Skyler was just a few weeks away from signing day when this happened. His Mom Kari Dunning Phillips and Skyler called me. It was panic time. While we do not often call coaches for kids we can and in this case we were all in.

We called WSU thinking they would gobble him up. Nope. After about 25 other contacts and lots of coaches and friends helping to spread the word it became clear it might be too late. Rather

Skyler Phillips made his move to ISU after loosing his OSU offer in 2012-13.

Skyler Phillips made his move to ISU after loosing his OSU offer in 2012-13.

then give up we contacted all the Big Sky Schools. After a little review from PSU, Montana, and Idaho State he received a visitation and then an offer from Idaho State University.

They were cellar dwellers – and had not won 6 games in a handful of seasons. If you read the story screen shot below you will see that Skyler started every game as a true freshmen and every game this season- the Bengals are now 7-3 and Skyler is leading the offensive line which is the big reason why this success has happened in my view.

As of now he may become one of the best linemen ever at ISU and / or in Big Sky history and I believe that those NFL SPARQ numbers, his level of play, and his heart and determination will lead him eventually to a chance to play at the Professional level.

Here is a Screen shot from FB of a clip in the local Idaho Paper  about Skyler Phillips.

Here is a Screen shot from FB of a clip in the local Idaho Paper about Skyler Phillips.

The morals of this story for ALL RECRUITS are:

1) Always Persevere

2) Review ALL your options regardless of the level of play- Work with your High School Coaches to help you make a plan!

3) Market yourself and show Love to every college- make sure they understand you are highly motivated

4) Be ready and willing to change your plans when you have to – All that any of you wanting to play at the next level need is a CHANCE.


6)  LOOK FOR GUYS LIKE ME AT CAMPS AND EVENTS – WE PLAY A Big role often and want to help!

There are a lot more things you need to do and we will be posting our recruiting guide soon for all of you that want it- Stay Tuned!

Skyler was the Right Man at the Right place at the Right time for ISU and I still believe he would be on his way to All PAC 12 at OSU right now.




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Skyler Phillips Comes Back From Recruiting Mess – The Alumni Files

I am the Founder of the Northwest Prep Report. For 17 years I have led the way to the best of my ability to promote the best talent from the Pacific NW free of charge. It is my pleasure to continue to serve High School athletes from all over the Pacific NW and beyond. Formerly with my sites have now crossed over 8,000 stories, 7 MILLION Video Views, and 15,000 regular followers. Together with the best football people in the USA we pursue excellence for our NW athletes.

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  1. Willy Garrow

    November 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Im not sure that Rule #6 applies. As a HS coach who works with college recruiters every day, I have had countless coaches tell me that the 3 things that matter LEAST are:
    1) Media Exposure
    2) Stats
    3) Sport Specialization
    They hate combines, and truly care only about Track times from official state run meets. The NIKE SPARQ is fine because it\’s free, but it\’s also only a small piece of the puzzle for them.
    Furthermore, they have told us numerous times to never pay someone to do combine testing, and never pay someone for \”exposure.\” The truth is you can get email addresses and phone numbers for every college coach in the country by doing a simple search and you can contact them all yourself.
    If a kid is capable of playing at the next level, his game tape is the first thing they want to see. Then it\’s his grades. Then it\’s talking to his head coach to find out what kind of kid he is. Then they talk to the player & his family.
    If a HS coach is doing his job, the kid will get noticed if he shows he is capable of playing at that level. It\’s really simple, and it\’s straight forward. We have had Kids go D3, D1AA, and have a kid with a D2 offer now, and a diff kid with mult D1 offers now. We did it without any of them ever being rated by Scout or Rivals & they\’ve never attended a combine that cost them a dime. They\’ve never paid for \”exposure\” or even done a media article. It just took a little bit of time to find college coaches contact info and call them, show them the tape, and get it rolling.

    I don\’t mean to disparage what you guys do and how you have probably helped many kids, but the idea that they \”need\” someone other than themselves and their HS coach is false, if they can play at that level.

    We keep a free database of every college Fball staff West of the Rockies from D1 to NAIA with emails and links to phone numbers. It\’s all on the web for free if a kid does the searching. We put it together ourselves by simply visiting athletic department websites. And it works.

    • Dirk Knudsen

      November 15, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Willy – I always tell the kids Never to pay for a combine. The issues are that despite what the Coaches say- and they say this to me too – many of them have their staffs doing consistent reviews of Media sites and rankings. And you must know that many coaches do nothing for recruiting because it is not their job or they do not know exactly how it works. If you read some of my other stuff it is #1) Grades #2)Training and playing hard with the high school you are at #3) Do more then one sport and do not over train for one #4) Get in touch with College Coaches and football offices and get in front of them at camps and visitations and show them some love – be your own advocate first #5) Get the College Coaches Online for $30 and have every school in the US at every level and every email right on your screen all in one place #6) Be cautious about showcase events and non-school camps – only go to Camps where there are Coaches and Media or just Coaches- Most camps have none of those. and the list goes on. And of course get Great Film out when you have it. The Coaches miss a lot of guys every year – they just do and I can back that up with 100\’s of examples- In Skyler\’s case they were working the phones after PSU dropped him and it too a lot of work to get anyone else to looks at him – Coach Garrow you were at Steilacoom I believe or still are so you guys already know the number of people and camp directors coming at your kids for $800 to $3500 recruiting systems and $100 a weekend combines and camps- it is all BS and an unregulated industry. I have petitioned the OSAA and the WIAA for limitations on these sort of folks as well as tried t force legislation to require agents and services to be licensed and registered with the State- I got no support. Your message is a wise one. If responsible media types with credentials and High School Staff and Colleges all work together the impact is better for the region. In 11 years I have written almost 6,000 featured stories or updates – Oregon had 7 D1 recruits the year I started and I was the only one doing things this way- Last year we had 36 kids go D1 and D1AA- alot of it was getting the story told so coaches would come here from places like Texas Tech, and FSU, and Georgia, and Baylor and SMU and on and on– so the right sort of National media tells the story of the NW kids at a level perhaps 1000 times more then one coach one kid could. So proper media has a roll and it is a big one. But your points are all right on target! Great input Coach- THANK YOU!

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