Injury can’t slow Blake Phillips


Injury can’t slow Blake Phillips

Blake Phillips has been playing football for over half of his life, a total of nine years. That’s more than enough experience to understand the physical nature of the sport and, ideally, be able to handle adversity.

Primed for a monster junior season at Kentucky Country Day School in Louisville after spending the 2012 season behind one of the top quarterbacks in the state (Robert Scholtz, now a preferred walk-on at the University of Kentucky), Phillips broke his wrist right before halftime in the Bearcats’ first game of the year.

Phillips missed the rest of the season with the injury, but his future remains very bright. “It’s a tough game,” Phillips said. “But the injury will help me in the long run. I’ll have a good off-season and I’ve already started training. I’m easing back in, but I’ll be ready for next year. I’ll be 100 percent around Christmas-time.”

Big-time college interest

Had he played the 2013 season, Phillips would likely be sifting through a pile of collegiate offers this winter. But being sidelined hasn’t slowed interest in the 6-foot-3, 205-pound QB. Phillips made an unofficial visit to the University of Washington in October and was on the sidelines for the Huskies’ big game against Oregon. Georgia, Louisville, UK and Colorado State are among the many other schools interested.

“I’m enjoying it,” Phillips said of the recruiting process. “So far, the experience has been good and they’ve been respectful of my privacy and things like that. I’m really looking forward to playing again next season, I’m anxious to get back. But I’ll take it one step at a time. I don’t want to try making too fast of a recovery and risk another injury. I’ll take my time coming back and make sure I’m ready to go.”

To prepare for what should be a banner senior season, Phillips has already started lifting weights four times a week and he cross-trains three times a week. Once a week, he works with acclaimed speed coach Christian Adair, and Phillips’ goal is to be running a 4.6 40-yard dash when the summer rolls around.

He’s also been working with NFA since the fifth grade. “They are the difference makers,” Phillips said. “Without NFA, I probably wouldn’t even be playing quarterback, to be honest with you. They’ve helped me with everything dealing with football and with everyday life.”

Phillips will head for Florida in January for more intense work with NFA Coaches Darin Slack, Will Hewlett, Dub Maddox and Adam Britt.

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University