Dwight Phillips Jr: Why the latest “RBU” commit is a very rare breed for Georgia football
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 4-star RB commitment Dwight Phillips Jr. He ranks as the nation’s No. 4 RB and the No. 71 overall prospect for 2024 on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
There will be a few spots where we will need to reach back for the term “Fast-Forward” in this space.
It will be appropriate in this telling of why Georgia perhaps has never recruited an athlete quite like its recent commitment in Dwight Phillips Jr. of Pebblebrook High School.
When he committed late last month, it was right before the National Signing Day for the 2023 class. There wasn’t enough attention placed on that pledge as there should have been. There was just the main commitment story that went up as he made the move. But that story deserved more gas.
The aim is to rectify that right now.
He’s the nation’s No. 4 RB prospect for the 2024 cycle. That makes him the nation’s No. 71 overall recruit for the class. The ‘Dawgs have recruited backs rated that highly before.
They usually sign at least one back that rates at least that high in every Kirby Smart class.
To best understand what the ‘Dawgs have, let’s start with a high school game last fall. But it will not be the first time Phillips touched the ball as a varsity player. That was when he got his hands on a kickoff in his first game and ran to avoid extreme peril.
Pass was watching Phillips and, for lack of a better term, was watching “Lightning” go.
“One of my great teammates was Patrick Pass,” Dwight Phillips Sr. said. “He was a great running back for the Bulldogs. He got a chance to see Dwight play this year and he was like ‘Man, he’s explosive, man. I just hope he goes to Georgia’ and I was like ‘Me, too’ with that.”
His father grew up in Decatur and was actually a big Georgia fan. Phillips went to high school at Tucker with Pass. Perhaps now is the best time to just drop the family background here.
- Dwight Phillips Sr. is best known for being the world’s greatest long jumper when he was in his prime. He took the gold medal in Athens (of all places) in 2004. He also took the gold another four times in the long jump at the World Championships in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2011.
- Phillips had a whopping nine jumps of more than 28 feet in competition. His best jump places him fifth all-time in history.
- He qualified four for the USATF Championships indoors and outdoors, and he clocked personal bests of 6.47 for 60m in 2005 and 10.06 for 100m in 2009. He was an NCAA finalist in the long jump and triple jump for Arizona State, taking silver in the long jump indoors and outdoors in 2000.
- His wife, Valerie, was also an 8-time All-American in college. She was a long jumper and a triple jumper. His parents both went to Kentucky and then graduated from Arizona State.
- The coordination given those genes was off-the-charts at an early age. He never needed training wheels on his bike. When his parents went skiing when he was nine years old, he wanted to go to the top of the hill. That was the first time for both the Olympic gold medal winner and his son. Dwight’s Dad fell, but he did not. That’s how coordinated he was at an early age.
The ‘Dawgs have never likely signed an athlete with this type of athletic pedigree and this level of verified speed for the football team, much less to play running back.
Phillips clocked a 10.43 laser time in the 100 meters as a junior. That places him in very rarefied air as an incoming UGA running back. That was what Phillips ran last spring when he had barely picked up the sprints for Pebblebrook. He’s also been credited with a 4.28 time in the 40-yard dash.
That was what he ran at UGA last summer. Check it out here.