Pound for pound, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jordan Phillips might be the most athletic player on the team. He can dunk a basketball. He can do backflips. But learning how to play defensive tackle like position coach Jackie Shipp wants him to has been a process.
“I came in real raw and didn’t have much technique,” Phillips said. “Coach Shipp just drills technique. I somewhat have my technique down, and that’s helped me a lot to get in the rotation.”
Phillips said he started to get a feel for the technique and defense in the spring. As a result, he’s on the two-deep chart, backing up David King, who was shifted to tackle from end after Stacy McGee was suspended.
“Even before then, Coach (Bob) Stoops told me I need to get prepared and be ready to play this year,” Phillips said. “That just made me work harder I guess.”
Now, Phillips, who redshirted last season after arriving late to camp, is ready to make an impact in his debut this weekend at UTEP.
“I haven’t got that nervous yet,” he said. “Besides that, I feel like I’m mentally ready. I just gotta have my technique down to go out there and play.”