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Willie Taggart hauled in USF’s first commitment for the recruiting class of 2017 last weekend in talented slot receiver Jernard Phillips out of Florida 6A powerhouse Miami Central High School, as first reported by Bulls247. Though, according to Phillips he has been formally committed to Willie’s Bullies since January just prior to National Signing Day.
Phillips is not only the younger brother of Florida State wideout Da’Vante Phillips nor just the former teammate of incumbent class of 2016 wide receiver Darnell Salomon. Did I mention lockdown Central corner Deatrick Nichols? You get the point. The Central recruit pipeline has been sensational and Jernard possesses his own knack for making big plays under the brightest of lights.
Prior to a season-ending ankle injury, Phillips was the rockets go-to outside assassin, racking up 451 yards on 24 receptions (18.8 yds/rec) and scoring 7 touchdowns last season. Phillips’ 18.8 yards per reception made him the most explosive offensive player for the state champion Rockets.
Andre C. Fernandez of the Miami Herald dubbed Phillips as ‘a star on the rise’ and after receiving an official offer from a USF team with a loaded wide receiver depth chart back on January 26, 2016, Phillips pulled the trigger and gave his official verbal commitment on April 17, 2016.
Phillips added this about his commitment, “USF has good coaches with coach Mathies my recruiter and coach Weist, the WR coach They treat me like family,” he said. “The staff just wanted to see my grades and stuff before we made it official.”
“Coach T was excited when I told him,” Phillips said. “Coach [Eric] Mathies said I can fit right in the system. He said I can catch short passes and get up the field quickly and get yardage for the Bulls. Coach [T.J.] Weist loved it when I told him, too.”
Phillips also held offers from the likes of Idaho, FIU, Southeast Missouri State, and Toledo, while also gaining increasing interest from Cincinnati, Purdue, West Virginia, and likely others in the fluid recruiting landscape.
I’ve added all of the Jernard’s recruiting profiles and highlights below.
by Matthew Manuri
Publisher & Editor, SoFloBulls.com | @Mcknurkle
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