Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Phillips leaving UConn, may land back at BC

Last night there was a report that UConn senior receiver Shakim Phillips was on the Boston College campus and he could transfer back to the school where he began his collegiate career.

The latest twist came on Wednesday when a source confirmed that Phillips is no longer a part of the team (first reported by the Hartford Courant) although he is still enrolled at UConn. He is looking to complete the requirements for graduation and if he does so, he would be immediately eligible to play at another school in the fall.

Phillips' loss is a substantial one as he was one of the most dynamic offensive players for the Huskies. It's easy to wonder how the 2013 season would have played out had Phillips not injured his hamstring during a 75-yard touchdown reception late in a loss to Maryland.

Phillips had 15 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games of the season. Phillips and Geremy Davis formed a productive 1-2 punch at receiver. Phillips missed the next two games and managed just 13 catches during the remainder of the season before sitting out the final two games with an ankle injury.

He finished third on the team with 28 receptions during the 2013 season and had 60 receptions in two seasons with the Huskies. Injuries kept Phillips on the sideline for most of spring practice and he did not play in the spring game.

If there is a silver lining it is that receiver is position where the Huskies have the most experience. Not only is Davis back but Deshon Foxx came on strong late in the season. Brian Lemelle, Dhameer Bradley, Noel Thomas, John Green and Kamal Abrams are all returning receivers who had catches during the 2013 season. Also, if the spring game is any indication, UConn could utilize two running backs and a tight end more than in the past couple of seasons which would mean more two-receiver sets. However, other than redshirt freshman Thomas Lucas, whose 25-yard catch was the longest in the spring game, none of the players who could replace Phillips offer the size that the 6-foot-2, 209-pound Phillips brought to the table.



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