During the press conference of Jonathan Smith’s hiring at Oregon State, he made it clear to everyone on campus and to Beaver Nation that their recruiting strategies and priorities would be changing. The focus would be on the the PAC-12 footprint with a huge emphasis on bringing the best athletes from the state of California to Corvallis.
This process wasn't expected to happen overnight, in fact, it may take a season or two for Coach Smith and the rest of his staff to make the positive impact and changes on the field that is necessary in order to attract big time recruits to Reser Stadium.
The total number of offers going out to 2019, 2020, and 2021 prospects from California seems to be rising by the day as they try and get across the new message the football program is trying to sell. Come be the “big fish in a small pond” in a true college town and be around the family feel of Corvallis both in the classroom and with the team as well.
One of those 2020 prospects who picked up an offer from the Beavers this past week was 5-foot-10, 180-pound 247Sports four-star cornerback Clark Phillips III from La Habra high school in La Habra, California, about 25 miles outside of downtown Los Angeles.
EXTREMELY BLESSED TO RECEIVE AN OFFER FROM OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY. THANKS @CoachPitre FOR STOPPING BY PRACTICE. @LHHighlanders. @GregBiggins @CoachKeith_NP @SportsRecruits @BrandonHuffman @adamgorney @ocvarsityguy pic.twitter.com/RT7hilIlWS— Clark Phillips III (@ClarkPhillips28) May 8, 2018
“Coach (Michael) Pitre stopped by practice on Monday night to watch my performance. Afterwards we talked for a little while and he told me he wanted to offer me a scholarship to OSU. It was a great feeling, Coach Pitre has a great personality and is very down to earth coach. We got off to a very good start with our relationship, he's my guy! So far everything is great with Coach Pitre. I am looking forward to building a relationship with the entire staff, especially Coach (Greg) Burns to talk about the cornerback position.”
Phillips has been keeping himself busy this spring making sure he’s at plenty of different events to continue to showcase all of the skills he brings when playing the cornerback position.
“This spring I was at The Opening regionals in LA, the Under Armour All-American camp, and the Adidas 7v7 championship tournament, although I don't usually do much 7v7 football, but it’s helped me become a better overall football player. I also took unofficial visits to check out Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, and UCLA this spring.”
The 5-foot-10 lockdown cornerback already holds a total of 13 offers from BYU, Florida, Fresno State, Iowa State, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Oregon State, San Jose State, UCLA, Utah, Washington, and Washington State. He’s also generating interest from schools such as Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, and Penn State along with several others across the country.
While Oregon State is still a new school on Phillips’ radar, he's eager to get to know more about the school itself and what it’s like to be a student athlete in Corvallis. Lucky for him, he’s already got a friend from the Los Angeles area who is a freshman for the Beavers football team.
“I know the school is competitive academically and on the field they are looking to change things quickly with the new coaching staff in place. I’m aware of the fact that my friend Isaiah (2018 tight end signee Isaiah Smalls) will be a key piece in their new offense this upcoming season. I actually talked to Isaiah this past week after I got my offer and he had nothing but GREAT things to say about Corvallis, the campus, student life, the facilities, players currently on the team, coaching staff, and football atmosphere. I can’t wait to see Isaiah ball out this year!”
As far as where Phillips’ recruitment currently stands, he said he is in no rush to decide on a verbal commitment at this point in time.
“I am still super early in the recruiting process and still studying all of the schools who have offered me so far. I will most likely be committing in December or February of my senior year. I definitely want to do all of my homework on every school to make sure I am making the best decision for me and my family. I plan on taking all five official visits and distance from home plays no factor in my recruitment, I want to go where I have the best opportunity to see early playing time.”
When asked about how he sees the Beavers staying towards the top of his list, Phillips remains excited about the future of the program under head coach Jonathan Smith but wants to see how the team preforms on the field the next two seasons.
“I want to see how the Beavers perform this year and next year. I have a lot of time to evaluate them as a school and football program to see how I would fit in. I definitely see Oregon State staying close to the top of my recruitment list going forward. Again, a lot will depend on how they do the next couple seasons. I am looking forward to going up to Corvallis for a game or two for an unofficial visit to check out the game day atmosphere and campus in person. I was also invited to come up this summer for the camps that the coaches are hosting on campus.”
While Phillips is consider to be a top-60 recruit by 247Sports composite rankings and a top-10 cornerback, he remains humble and is still determined to work on multiple areas of his game to make sure he is becoming the best cornerback he can possibly be.
“My main goals the next two years are to improve my technique, my overall speed and agility, and being able to quickly any offense that I might face while being an expert knowing any and all defensive coverages so I can be a leader on defense for my La Habra team.”
Building The Dam will continue to check in regularly with Phillips throughout the summer and the next two years as he will likely continue to rack up more big time offers and possibly add a fifth star to his resume.
Phillips’ Hudl highlights:
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