Hgt: 6’ 3⅜ ”
Wgt: 303 lbs.
Hand: 10 ½”
Arm: 33 ¾”
Wing: 81 ⅞“
PROFILE: After suffering a season-ending injury his sophomore year in the 2015 season opener against Northwestern, Phillips played in 12 games as a Junior the following season. He recorded 46 tackles (19 solo), 9.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, a performance that earned him an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention honor. He was also a Pac-12 All-Academic first team selection that year. He served as a Team Captain during his 2017 Senior season. His accomplishments for the season include:
On what it means to him to be selected to play in the Senior Bowl
It’s really a big honor – the opportunity to go out here and compete against some of the best. One of the best parts about it is you get to possibly meet some of your future teammates. No one really knows where we’re going to end up, what round. Five … six years down the road what teams we’re going to be on. So it’s cool to build the relationships, get to know a lot of the good guys and get to make those connections.
On what he really hopes to showcase for the NFL teams during Senior Bowl week
Probably the biggest box that needs to be checked, I think the one that is left unchecked is probably my pass rush. I had pretty good numbers for a defensive tackle but I want to show these guys that I’m a lot more athletic than they give me credit for. I know at the Combine and Pro Day they’ll see me doing drills, see the fluidity, the finesse of it. Ultimately, the NFL is becoming a pass rush game and want to show these guys that I can be disruptive from anywhere they want to line me up.
On how he views the importance of those one-on-ones he’ll be facing during the Senior Bowl week practices
Yeah, tremendously important. I don’t know how realistic – you have to win your one-on-ones anytime you have the opportunity. But the game is obviously – you know, I want to win the game and show out at the game. I know they have some restraints – not allowed to run games and blitzes and things like that. But that’s where the X’s and O’s get really fun. But yeah, go out and compete and mano y mano is the bigger dog.
On what it’s like coming from a program like Stanford where other defensive lineman like Solomon Thomas have gone to the next level and had success and what it means to him to try and carry on that legacy
It means a lot. You know the defensive line, The last couple of years, you know we had Henry Anderson, David Parry, Aziz Shittu, Brennan Scarlet and Solomon. Each year we’ve had guys go make rosters and play significantly in the NFL. So being the next person kind of carrying that torch and helping mold the young guys back at Stanford. It just goes to show one of the reasons I chose Stanford was because they’re like the football factory of the West coast. The year I committed, they had eight players drafted, the next year they had seven. Just to continue that tradition. Hopefully they win a National Championship – that’s one of the boxes they need to check.
On his initial impressions of Bill Kollar the Defensive Line Coach for the Denver Broncos (Broncos staff coaching the North Team at this Senior Bowl)
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Coach Kollar. I was working with Jim Washburn who I guess they coached together a while back – he’s an old defensive line coach. I’ve been working with him for the last couple of weeks. He said a lot of great things about him. I guess the thing I’m most excited for – although it’s not too much technical savvy where one of the sayings they keep saying just do what got you here – don’t try and switch anything up and do all this crazy stuff. But I know he demands a lot out of us and so just his passion about the game – you can tell he loves it, he loves what he’s doing. He’s not here just because he has to be, he’s going to get everything he can out of it just as much. I’m excited to work for him and show him the energy and high effort player that I can be.
On what the best piece of advice he received form a former player or coach about what to expect heading into this Senior Bowl week
Hmmm! I think I would probably need to see how the rest of the week pans out to which advice meant more. But a lot of people just said have fun with it. This is the only time you get to come here. For me, I’ve just been scratching to try and put my helmet on again – it’s been over a month since we had to strap up and play. I’m just itching to get out there and play the game that we love so much.
On how he has been responding when teams ask him what he thinks his strength is and what one area he might want to showcase for them that maybe isn’t a strength
I think a big combination of things makes me excel the way that I do. I think that a lot of my production this season – I’m one of the most productive D-tackles in the class – I think I can tip my hat a little bit to the film study and game prep that goes in. I really love the X’s and O’s. I really enjoy learning the tendencies. Although the Pac-12 is such a hurry, up-tempo offense I really try to find, okay what’s the formation, where’s the running back … okay I know this play’s coming. Anticipate the play before it happens. Aside from that you know, genetically, the height, the width I guess. And then all the hard work that goes in – you know, every three sets of ten lifts that we did, it was three sets of eleven. Every run we had, do an extra rep. So I think it’s a big combination of a lot of things to help be the player that I am. I know one area that I’m excited to show people as an area of growth for me is more attack style of play. I had to play Nose Guard in our defense. I had to play front side a lot or try to get front side or back side of the Guard. Sometimes I had to read. A lot of the NFL teams who have had success on the defensive line, they’re just in attack style. Just go, go, go, go, go. Not sure if that’s a weakness right now, it’s just something I haven’t worked a lot so I’m excited to have the opportunity to do that.
On what it’s going to be like wearing the Stanford helmet one final time in the game on Saturday
Probably some nostalgic a little bit. A lot of emotion will be involved with it. I think probably as I’m putting on the helmet I’ll be thinking of some of the players that aren’t going to be next to me as I’m putting on the helmet. That’s probably the most important thing. You know, it’s more about playing that game with my friends and my teammates one last time so the bowl game (Alamo Bowl) was a little more emotional. But this is good because I like the idea that I can help represent Stanford and show future recruits and current players like, ‘I have a chance to make it to the Senior Bowl’. The coaching staff there is incredible and they can just kinda follow in my shoes.