When you play for Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, you have high expectations placed upon yourself. When you're the star corner at Rockhurst you have even more pressure placed on you. Rockhurst coach Tony Severino likes to us his corners as a last line of defense in man-to-man situations and star cornerback Phillip Strozier wouldn't have it any other way.
"Cornerback is the last line of defense in our system," Strozier, who is 6-foot and 185 pounds, said.
"I love the challenge of going man-to-man against a guy. Our coaches always say as a cornerback that everybody sees when you mess up, but they don't see you when you do everything right."
Strozier has done quite a bit more right than wrong in his career at Rockhurst.
Ranked as the No. 6 player in the state of Missouri by Rivals.com, Strozier says he has picked up scholarship offers from Kansas (Dave Doren), Missouri (Andy Hill) and Houston. He also said Kansas State, where his brother plays, and Notre Dame (Rob Ianello) are also heavily recruiting him.
"I like both KU and MU," Strozier said. "The Houston offer kind of came out of nowhere. I don't know much about them. Coach (Joe Bob) Clements at K-State is talking to me, and I like them not just because my brother is up there. I also would be interested in Notre Dame if they offered me."
But Strozier admits his first focus now is on hated rival Blue Springs, which is always the traditional season-opening game for Rockhurst.
"They lose a lot of guys," Strozier said. "But it's still Blue Springs. You know they're going to be up for us, and we have to be ready for them. I can't wait for that game already."
In preparation, Strozier and his teammates played in a 7-on-7 pass league this summer and they just began mini-camp this past week – a grueling morning workout regimen that would test even the best player's stamina.