It wasn’t a completely smooth ride, but NFA veteran Blake Phillips has reached his desired destination. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound quarterback is going to play college football.
After missing all but two quarters of his junior year at Kentucky Country Day School in Louisville with a broken wrist, Phillips came roaring back as a senior.
“I definitely made a complete recovery,” said Phillips, who passed for 1,600 yards and 21 touchdowns this past season while guiding the Bearcats to a 6-5 record. “It was no factor in my play at all. I just had to put the injury behind me. For the sake of my team, I had to act like it kind of never happened. I just totally worked my way back from it and came back stronger. I couldn’t feel sorry for myself.”
Before breaking his wrist late in the second quarter of his first game as a junior at Kentucky Country Day, Phillips was drawing interest from big-time college programs like Washington, Georgia, Louisville, Kentucky and Colorado State.
Being out for such a key season proved costly on the recruiting front.
“My biggest challenge was going to college camps and being in the A group,” Phillips said. “But at the end of the day I didn’t have any film and they didn’t take me seriously. Instead of getting invited to all the junior days and all that kind of stuff, I just had to wait until the very end.”
Phillips was hearing from schools that were impressed with his senior season at Kentucky Country Day. “Coming down to signing day, I was listening to Butler, Drake and non-scholarship Division I programs,” he said. “But that’s not really what I was looking for.”
In late January, Phillips heard from a school that piqued his interest. It came from the University of Findlay, a Division II program in Ohio.
“I got a text from a coach at Findlay and he asked me if I could come up and visit,” Phillips said. “I got another text from Urbana (University), which is an hour away from Findlay and another Division II school. I went up and visited Findlay first on a Friday night and I loved the town and I loved the coaching staff. I visited Urbana and I wasn’t as in love with it as I was Findlay. They offered me and I committed the next day.”
Phillips is going to redshirt as a freshman. “They are more about the developmental process,” he said. “They have a great strength coach (Chad Wagner). He said they’d redshirt me – they redshirt almost everyone – and put 20 or 30 pounds on me. It’s a pretty good situation for me. After my redshirt freshman year I probably have a pretty good shot to be under center.”
Phillips, a straight-A student at Country Day, plans on studying Pre-Med. “I am interested in being a lab research doctor, or having a private practice,” he said. “I am really interested in health and holistic medicine.”
NFA set foundation
He is also interested in playing football at the next level, and Phillips gives NFA big credit for helping him reach the goal. He has been training with NFA since the fifth grade.
“They set the foundation for me,” Phillips said. “I’ve been working with Coach (Adam) Britt one-on-one a lot. NFA has helped me with a lot of fundamentals. I’m looking to stay involved with NFA and I think I’m going to do a few college mentor camps coming up soon.”