Kentucky’s 2020 recruiting class features athletes from all across the country. This budding star is from an unusual recruiting territory for the Wildcats, South Carolina, but he’s a Kentuckian at heart.
The second player to join Mark Stoops’ 2020 recruiting class, cornerback Andru Phillips pulled the trigger the day after John Young rolled the dice. When you search Phillips’ recruiting profile, you’ll see his from Mauldin, SC. That’s been his home for the last four years. He grew up in Louisville playing youth sports against Young and Izayah Cummings.
That’s not the only connection has to his future teammates. Andru’s father, Carlos, played linebacker for Jerry Claibourne’s Wildcats in the 80s. One of the Owensboro product’s teammates, Bill Allen, has a talented son that will play quarterback for the Cats, Beau.
The Football Player
A high three-star recruit by Rivals, the legacy recruit is my favorite player in the class people aren’t talking about. Over the summer he worked out in one-on-ones against the top wide receivers at UK’s camp, including future Louisville Cardinal Jordan Watkins. Not only did Phillips have the speed and length to keep up with Watkins, he bothered the wide receiver with his physicality. A player that takes pride in popping pads, Phillips is a player that Stoops will have to say “whoa,” rather than “giddy up.”
“It’s as though he likes doing that,” Carlos Phillips told KSR over the summer. “I think sometimes he’s too aggressive because he’s not the biggest guy out there. But he doesn’t mind the contact. I think what makes him unique, he can cover you. He’s pretty versatile and he’s a bit of an athletic freak as well.”
I briefly mentioned his length and speed, but that deserves more attention. Just like his mother, Dru is a track star. He ran the 100m, relay and was nationally-ranked in the triple-jump. That all sounds great on paper. Wait till you see it in action.
on who I don’t got no bounce… pic.twitter.com/lLM9GneYHw
— dru (@AndruPhillips) February 27, 2019
The foundation of a successful college football program is built on in-state recruiting and talented legacy recruits. Kentucky’s missed on some big fish in the past, despite their UK connections (Zack Martin is the best that immediately comes to mind). Despite playing his high school ball outside of Greenville, South Carolina, Phillips checks both boxes.
A versatile athlete in Kentucky’s secondary, Phillips has the length to play outside but he might be a better fit at nickel. The only position in the secondary where UK struggled to find consistent production in 2019, Phillips can keep up with athletes in the slot and is not afraid to shy away from contact in run support. I’m excited to see how Phillips develops over the next four years.