Georgia Speedster has Razorbacks in the top 5
The University of Arkansas is one of the best schools for fast ESPN 4-star junior running back Dwight Phillips Jr., who was bombarded by college coaches early Thursday morning.
September 1st marked the first day college coaches could engage directly with prospective recruits through social media and text messages. Phillips estimates 40 coaches contacted him between midnight and 12:45 p.m. Thursday morning.
“It went like left and right every second,” Phillips said of the rapid rate of fire.
Phillips, 5-11, 180 pounds, from Mabelton (Ga.) Pebblebrook, has more than 30 scholarship offers including those from Arkansas, Georgia, Florida State, Oregon. Texas A&M, Michigan State, South Carolina, Missouri, Auburn, Louisville and others.
Razorbacks running backs coach Jimmy Smith reached out to him Thursday morning.
“I’m very interested,” Phillips said. “You’re in my top 5. I like Arkansas.”
He also said Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, Michigan State and South Carolina are his top five.
Phillips opened his eyes as a sophomore by gaining 774 yards on just 62 carries for an average of 12.5 per carry while hitting 7 touchdowns. He also had 9 catches for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns.
ESPN also ranks Phillips as the No. 12 athlete and No. 113 overall prospect in the nation for the Class of 2024.
He and Smith spoke on the phone before Thursday and he said Smith talked about what he could do for the hogs.
“Like what I can bring to their program and what he can do for me to take me to the next level,” Phillips said.
His father, Dwight Phillips, was one of the most dominant track and field athletes in the early 2000s. He won a gold medal in the long jump at the Athens 2004 Olympics and became world No. 1 five times while posting a personal best of 28 feet 81/4 inches.
He was also a superb sprinter with a personal best of 10.06 seconds over 100 meters.
Phillips followed his father and used his speed to win the Georgia 7A 100 state title by recording 10.43 seconds in May.
Pebblebrook coach Leroy Hood signed with Arkansas from McGehee in 2000 after helping the Owls win back-to-back state championships in 1998-1999. He played one season for the Razorbacks before joining Arkansas Tech for the 2001 season.
“You can’t train speed,” Hood said of the younger Phillips. “He is dynamic, he can do everything. He can play any position on the offensive side of the ball outside of quarterback. We use him like a Percy Harvin. We can put him in the slot but the best I’ve seen of him between tackles this year is that he’s a lot better.
Phillips startled Georgia coaches by recording a 4.28-second electronic time in the 40-yard dash at a Bulldog camp this summer.
“The first time I did it, I had to do it again because they thought they got it wrong with the laser,” Phillips said. “When I ran it again, they just looked at me and said, ‘You’re fast.’ ”
Hood said Phillips’ performance got him the Bulldogs’ offer.
“They were on him, but they wanted to see him,” Hood said. “In the camp he ran past everyone. He had a great stock.”
Phillips said he likes the fact that Arkansas led the nation in rushing to the Power Five schools last season.
“It means a lot to me because I’m playing running back and trying to get to the next level,” he said.
He’s planning a trip to Fayetteville.
“Soon, but I don’t know when,” Phillips said.