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 http://www.northwestprepreport.com/from-no-name-to-the-opening-skyler-phillips-sudden-impact/ 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-
Today- November 15th, 2014
RECRUITS READ THIS – NEVER GIVE UP!!
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.
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-
RECRUITING POINT: ALWAYS NETWORK BECAUSE IT IS NOT OVER UNTIL THAT LETTER OF INTENT IS SIGNED!
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
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.
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.
5) BEFORE YOU EVER GO TO A COMBINE BE READY TO PERFORM AT THE TOP TIER – and
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.
WAY TO GO KID!
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