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With 45 days left until Virginia Tech takes the field against Appalachian State, we turn our attention to number 45 on the roster, Mr. Joey Phillips. Phillips injured his ankle during the third scrimmage this past spring so Tech fans never had a chance to see him in action. With Tech going pass happy during the spring game, it really wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Still, Phillips is the odds on favorite to be the Hokies starting fullback this fall but he’ll face some stiff competition from Martin Scales when practice resumes in August.
Weight: 215 lbs
High School: Blacksburg High School
How Did He Get Here
Phillips was the starting running back and linebacker at Blacksburg High School during his junior and senior seasons. He was particularly good against my alma mater (Northside High School) for some reason. Even with two good seasons and an 2nd team all-district honor as a senior, Phillips was lightly recruited and eventually accepted a walk-on opportunity with his home town team.
Phillips saw only a few snaps in 11 of 14 games last season. He finished the season third on the depth chart behind Kenny Younger and Josh Oglesby.
With Younger atop the depth chart last season, Phillips was only sparsely used in goaline situations and on special teams. Still, with that experience Phillips should win the starting job this fall. The Blacksburg native isn’t the biggest fullback we’ve had recently but he’s a hard worker and makes up for any size discrepancy with toughness. He’s not afraid to take on a 250 pound linebacker even if he does give up 35 pounds to him.
With Virginia Tech abandoning more traditional I-formation sets, the fullback has lost a little bit of it’s luster under Coach Stinespring in recent years. Back during the end of the Ricky Bustle reign, the Hokies produced talented fullbacks year in and year out who could not only be a battering ram but also possess enough skill and quickness to assist Tech in the running Game. Of course, Phillips can catch the ball. He has good hands and seems to be a decent runner but I have a feeling Tech will stick to using their fullbacks as a 6th offensive lineman again this season.
Winning the starting job this past spring by outperforming Martin Scales.
Having the middle name "McGovern." Also, shame on the rest of the team for not calling him the "McGovernator"
Biff from "Back to the Future" as suggested by @JRCooke on twitter
Completely made up fact
If my new nickname for Joey Phillips catches on, he may have a role in the upcoming T5 movie. Or, at the very worst he'll have a McDonalds sandwich named after him.
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