Day five of fall camp for the Miami Hurricanes ended with the media getting the chance to talk to head coach Manny Diaz, defensive coach Todd Stroud, and defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Jahfari Harvey.
While coach Diaz was asked mostly about how his team is handling the situation regarding college football being played amid the Covid-19 situation, the biggest takeaway tonight, was about Jaelan Phillips.
Phillips, who was the number-one recruit in the country coming out of high school, is ready to get back on the field, after sitting out the 2019 season after transferring from UCLA.
While playing for the Bruins, Phillips totaled 4.5 sacks, 8 TFLs and 41 tackles.
“It’s been a hell of a journey,” Phillips told us on Tuesday night, when asked about coming back from his injuries and also his transition to Miami and getting back to into football shape.
“It’s been a blessing. It’s hard to even fathom. It’s kind of rekindled my passion and hunger. I think I already earned my teammates respect, coming in and working my butt off since I got here.”
Phillips notes that he was 225 pounds this time last year, but has jumped up to 270 pounds right now.
Says he was 225 last year, "putting on the weight has been a challenge. Eating 260 grams of protein a day." https://t.co/hZJ3ehbiKd— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) August 12, 2020
When talking to DL coach Todd Stroud, he told the media, “I would put Jaelan Phillips in the 99th percentile of any player I have ever coached in terms of physical attributes.”
"I would put Jaelan Phillips in the 99th percentile of any player I have ever coached in terms of physical attributes."-coach Stroud. Wow— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) August 12, 2020
Now THAT, is saying something.
Phillips will most likely be one of the two starters at defensive end, after Gregory Rousseau announced last week that he’d be opting out of the 2020 season.
“I was lucky enough to get to know Greg (Rousseau). I’m not trying to be the next Greg Rousseau. It’s coming in, doing everything I can to stay focused,” said Phillips. “I’m not trying to fill his shoes.”
Coach Stroud talked very highly of the trio at defensive end in Phillips, Quincy Roche and Jahfari Harvey, and said they could be some of the most dominant DE’s that we’ve seen in a long time at Miami.
Coach Stroud notes the trio of Quincy Roche, Jaelan Phillips and Jahfari Harvey, can be very dominant in the ACC— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) August 12, 2020
Roche transferred to Miami earlier this year from Temple, via the transfer portal, after racking up 13 sacks and 19 TFLs last season for the Owls.
Harvey, who is a redshirt freshman, had a limited role in 2019, but is expected to take a big leap in his second year at Miami.
One last note on the defensive line, coach Stroud talked a little about DT’s Nesta Jade Silvera and Jon Ford , “both guys are progressing as you’d expect.”