Though a few tight ends in Texas have already made their names known, there is a player from Dallas that has flown under-the-radar but is still garnering quite a bit of attention from colleges. James Phillips of South Oak Cliff is hearing from quite a few BCS schools.
"Oh yeah, I've been hearing from a couple of schools," said the 6-foot-4, 225 pound junior. "I don't have any offers yet that I know of but I think a few of them are close."
Phillips says a few schools have been pursuing him a bit more than the rest.
"A&M, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Wisconsin and Louisville have been recruiting me the hardest out of anybody," he said. "I've talked to coach (Tim) Cross) at Minnesota, I've talked to the new offensive line coach at A&M (Jim Turner), the DB coach from Kansas (Je'Ney Jackson) and the DB coach from Oklahoma State (Jason Jones).
"They've all said they are going to offer me soon. I think Kansas and maybe A&M are probably the closest to offering right now."
Phillips says that he has not spoken with the Aggie coaches since fellow tight end Hutson Prioleau committed to A&M so he is not sure where he now stands with them.
There is one school that he is currently favoring.
"I like LSU," said Phillips. "They've sent me a few letters but I haven't talked to any of their coaches yet. Out of the schools that are recruiting me the hardest, I'd say they are all pretty much even."
The coaches voted Phillips as the first-team all-district tight end in 2007 despite the fact that he only had two receptions for 13 yards. That and the fact that he is receiving interest from colleges is a testament to his overall skill at the position.
"I was like a sixth lineman," he said. "I'm a pretty good blocker. I didn't have that many chances. There weren't a lot of plays called for me this year. I played just tight end this year but next year I'll be playing defensive end too. All the schools are looking at me at tight end, though."
Phillips says his role will be vastly different in 2008, though. It should also help speed up the recruiting process for the junior.
"I think that schools want to see my hands in spring ball," he said. "The whole passing offense is actually gonna be based around me this year. Last year we had a whole roster full of senior receivers that got a lot of plays called for them."