This summer, ESPN.com is taking a closer look at each scholarship player on the Oklahoma Sooners' roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall and his long-term projection. Starting with No. 1 Dominique Alexander, the series follows the roster numerically through No. 98 Chuka Ndulue.
No. 80 Jordan Phillips, defensive tackle, 6-foot-6, 334 pounds, sophomore
Impact thus far: Phillips has shown flashes of elite potential and was starting to fulfill some of his long-discussed upside before injuring his back last season. He started the first four games of 2013 and was beginning to become a anchor of OU’s defense before his season-ending injury. As a redshirt freshman he saw spot duty, playing in 11 games in 2012.
Impact in 2014: If healthy, Phillips has the potential to take OU’s defense to another level. He’s big, athletic and disruptive in the middle and his presence would make Eric Striker, Charles Tapper and Geneo Grissom even more lethal on the perimeter. A healthy Phillips could battle for all-conference honors.
Long term upside: Phillips has NFL potential, evidenced by his inclusion on Mel Kiper’s list of top underclassmen at defensive tackle. The sky is the limit for a healthy Phillips with all-conference, all-american and individual award honors all in play if he continues to develop and transform his exceptional physical gifts into on-the-field impact.
Evaluation grade for Phillips: B. He was a highly regarded signee who has only started four games in three years on campus but this grade should rise to an A if he is healthy for the rest of his career.
Development grade for Phillips: B. The Sooners approach to his development has been good outside of additional opportunities to play him a little more during his redshirt freshman season while he was behind three seniors at the position. His redshirt season was probably the right move, even though the likelihood of him being in Norman, Oklahoma for five years, without pursuing NFL riches, are not very high, particularly if he is healthy.