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July 21, 2013

Phillips' new focus

Nebraska defensive end Harrison Phillips surprised many national pundits by committing to Stanford over the in-state Cornhuskers, but the Cardinal was always high on his list.

And now that he's made his decision, Phillips is making it his mission to help build Stanford's 2014 recruiting class. The defensive end discussed his relationship with Stanford's current commits and his plan for recruiting uncommitted prospects to The Farm in the second part of his post-commitment interview with Cardinal Sports Report. Phillips detailed the factors that played into his college choice and discussed his future with Stanford in the first part of his interview with Cardinal Sports Report.

Part two is below.

Cardinal Sports Report: Have you heard from any Stanford commits since making your decision?

Harrison Phillips: I had heard from all of them before I made my decision. I told all of them that I had committed but just not to tell anyone. So they already knew. I had already gotten my congratulations from them. But I reached out to the newest commit, Lane Veach, I got him my number, he got me his number, so I talked to him. I'm really working Solomon Thomas. Solomon, he's a great, great guy. Obviously out of all of us commits I would probably get the closest to him if we can get him to commit, just because we'll be with each other every single day on the defensive line together. But I am really building relationships with Brandon, I really like Brandon Simmons, and also Christian (McCaffrey). We know that we're going to be something special and we know that we're going to come together and that's going to be one of the strongest things. Even Coach Shaw knows that, that we're going to be a really close class. He can already see that.

CSR: Aside from Solomon, do you have a target list of uncommitted prospects you want to recruit?

HP: That's what I'm kind of in the process of now. I've been talking to some of the coaches, Coach Mattioli, Coach Mason. I'm getting some of those guys' names, finding them on Facebook. I'll just go from there, message them on Facebook, ask how's the interest been in Stanford, do you have any questions. I can relay anything I know. And if distance is a problem, I'm in the same boat. Just talk them through the process like those guys did to me. Not obsessively over recruiting and stuff but just let them know that if they're with me I'm not a crazy goon or some hick or something. They're going to have someone who can be a good teammate and someone they can have a good friendship with. That was the biggest thing for me. Going all the way out to California, I didn't want to go out there alone not knowing a single person. Now, I already feel comfortable with six or seven kids. That really helped my decision.

CSR: Out of the commits was there anyone in particular who did the mot recruiting of you who did the most recruiting of you and was the most effective?

HP: Probably Brandon (Simmons) and Daniel (Marx). Those two, we texted quite a bit and just talked about everything. Christian (McCaffrey) has been talking with me quite a bit but he was on vacation or something right in the process of when I was ready to commit and we couldn't talk too much at that time, but we're talking now.

CSR: Let's say I'm 'Joe Recruit' from some random state and I'm calling you up to talk about Stanford. How would you recruit me? What would your pitch be?

HP: Well, if you were a 17-year-old kid just like me, what I'd try to (recruit you with), is I compare schools to girls. You don't want just a girlfriend to really fool around with or whatever that's just got all the looks, maybe has a big fanbase, is real pretty or something like that. Well at Stanford, they've got the great looks and she has smarts. And her family's rich. It sets you up for all the good stuff. That's 17-year-old talk, but you don't want to get married to, maybe she's a 10, but she might not have the brains. Where here at Stanford, she's a 10 and she has the brains. That's the type of woman you want to get married to and she'll be the best woman to you because she has the most to offer. That's kind of what I do when I'm sitting down thinking about it. Because a lot of times it is hard. People talk about fans and stadiums and colors and Adidas or NIKE, they think way too much about it. It should be bottom line, at least it was for me, what puts you in the best position for success and you can't tell me that Stanford's not No. 1 on that list. If it's NFL success, if it's with relationship success, networking, education, they have to be the top of the bar for everything.

CSR: Finally, have you talked to Stanford at all about getting started on the application, the whole admissions process?

HP: Yeah I already sent them my senior class schedule, my unofficial transcript through this point and my ACT score. They gave me an application now that they're sending to me to fill out. They said everything looks good and is above the standard of where I should be. The only thing is I need to redo the ACT because I didn't take the writing portion. It wasn't because it was too low, it was just that I needed to do the writing portion. And that's something I was planning to do anyway because I have yet to study for the ACT. I just went in and took it to take it. I ended up getting a 25 and now that I'm going to study for it I'm reaching for a 27, 28. That's better for me too because I know even going into graduate schools sometimes for physical therapy, they look all the way back at that ACT score. I'll be taking that in September, I just signed up for it today.

Related - Phillips talks Stanford commitment: Part One

The preceeding was a free preview of normally premium Cardinal Sports Report content. Sign up for a 30-day free trial for complete coverage of Stanford's Friday Night Lights camp and training camp by using promotional code "Rivals30"

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