Saturday, July 27, 2013
Florida lands top 2015 WR Phillips
By Derek Tyson
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida received its fourth commitment in the last three days, as ESPN Junior 300 wide receiver Da'Vante Phillips (Miami/Central) gave his pledge to Florida head coach Will Muschamp after Florida's Friday Night Lights camp.
The 6-foot-1, 189-pound athlete chose the Gators over offers from Miami, Florida State, Alabama and Clemson.
Phillips, the No. 11-ranked player in the country and top-rated receiver for 2015, said he chose Florida because of the atmosphere and also because of his Central teammate and 2014 Florida running back commit Dalvin Cook.
"It just feels like home," Phillips said. "I just liked everything about it and the atmosphere with the lights on. Dalvin was a big influence. Every day, he sends me messages. Any way he can get to me, he always is doing stuff."
Phillips said Muschamp was excited to learn of his commitment.
"He was happy. He was very excited," Phillips said. "I already knew he wanted me to be a Gator when I got here, so he was excited."
The hometown Hurricanes have always been near the top of his list, but Phillips said right now Florida is where he wants to be.
"I don't know," he said when asked about Miami. "Right now the Gators are on my mind."
In his ESPN scouting report, Phillips is compared to a wide receiver who enjoyed tremendous success on the college level:
"[Phillips] is a strong, physical player -- a Dez Bryant type. A versatile, big-play receiver with good size, competitiveness and athleticism. Possesses a good frame and playing strength for the wide receiver position and should continue to fill out and develop functional strength. Flashes good playing speed and foot quickness needed to separate as a route runner. Catches the ball extremely well and does a good job of turning upfield after the catch.Being physical and exploding off the ball, and also blocking with power."
Phillips is Florida's first 2015 commitment.