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PRINCETON — Blaine Phillips defied the odds and signed to play college football with Methodist University on Friday in Deacon Jones Gymnasium.
Phillips, a senior wideout, had one of the Bulldogs eight catches this past season for 25 yards. Princeton head coach Travis Gaster said Phillips beat the odds to sign.
“A young man that has no measurables to play college football, but totally embraces what it means to be a Bulldog and an overachiever,” Gaster said. “To be willing to take a step and go and play at the next level, just be willing to work and prove himself to a whole ‘nother set of coaches, I’m very proud.”
The senior has been a Bulldog for all of his life. His father, Joe, is the coach for the recreation league football team in Princeton and has been for most of Blaine’s life.
“From the time I was 8 ‘til I was 12, he was my coach,” Blaine said. “He’s always gave me the option to do whatever I wanted. He never forced me to do anything. I just fell in love with the game.”
Gaster said Blaine’s love of the game made him a great leader for the 9-1 Bulldogs this past season, because he was always one of the first to show up to practice, one of the last to leave, always helped clean up and a great example for younger players. Joe said he’s always been like that.
“I’d like to feel a little bit responsible for it, but I don’t really know that I am,” Joe said. “He’s been that way almost his whole football career from the time that he was 6. He’s just got a love for the game and a passion for the game and has wanted to be better. I think he understands his physical limitations and I think that has pushed him to work harder, have a better work ethic, and a better attitude.”
Blaine was most attractive to Methodist because he was in a system at Princeton that emphasized blocking and in the spread offense Methodist runs they need good blocking from wide receivers to run the ball. Blaine said Gaster really helped developed him in the blocker he is because of Princeton football’s commitment to the weight room.
“Coach Gaster came here when I was a freshman and immediately made an impact with me being a small kid, and him focusing on the weight room to beef me up a little bit, that played a big part in me getting bigger and stronger,” Blaine said.