Getting his first career start against Miami, safety Jalyn Phillips explains what his role was in Clemson’s victory last Saturday.
Philips is comfortable wherever defensive coordinator Brent Venables needs him and says it’s a blessing they can use him in their defensive schemes.
Phillips on playing on the big stage against Miami
“That’s all football is. Everyday I’m doing something that I love. At first you have jitters and butterflies but once you continue playing the game it is all fun. At the end of the day it’s fun. It was fun for me as soon as I go out there. I felt like myself again.”
Phillips on being able to understand Venables’ defense
“It can be very complex, but at the same time they are going to help you understand it. It’s not an easy task to do. When a player comes in, I advise them to get into that playbook as much as they can, listen to the older guys that have lots of experience. I know for me, I had to get under K’Von Wallace’s wing, Tanner Muse, Nolan Turner, Denzel Johnson. I had to get under their wing and understand the playbook, listen and take notes every day.”
Phillips on stepping up after losing three of their top four safeties
“Most definitely, it has always been a challenge. I don’t really get into critics, but just hearing what people say that this defense can be suspect losing three of their top four defensive players to the draft. But to come in and replace those talented guys was definitely a challenge for us safeties.”
Phillips playing with high school teammate Andrew Booth
“It’s crazy, sometimes we just look at each other like, ‘Hey man, let’s treat this like it’s high school.’ We’re back in our neighborhood, this is what we do. It is just enjoyable, to see him go out there and make plays. One handed grab, things he does at practice every day and games in high school it is just unbelievable. Seeing his talents go to the biggest stage, it is just unbelievable. I talk to him every day about it and we just pray and hope things like this continue to happen.”
Phillips on playing close to home when facing Georgia Tech
“I know a couple guys on that team. Real cool with those guys and it’s in Atlanta so it makes it very special. I am glad I get the opportunity to play in Atlanta. It is definitely going to be a big opportunity.”