Numbers in the 80s are usually reserved for wide receivers and tight ends. As you take a look through our countdown, that’s certainly the case with the Gators. Joker Phillips coaches the wide receivers and since there’s no 80 on the football team yet, we’ll take a look at him and some of the players he coaches.
Phillips was, of course, the head coach at Kentucky before he headed down to Gainesville to take the wide receivers coach position. During his tenure as head coach, offensive coordinator, and wide receivers coach with the Wildcats, he had two standout WRs and a productive tight end. Randall Cobb and Stevie Johnson have turned into two of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL and Jacob Tamme has formed a rapport with Peyton Manning during their time with both the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. Phillips was hired in 2013 to turn around a position lacking production. Judging by his previous success, he seems like the right fit.
Possibly the most important aspect of what Phillips brings comes off the field. He’s the recruiting coordinator and consistently is involved in landing Florida’s top recruits. In his first year with the Gators, Phillips brought in the top-ranked recruiting corps in the nation. Demarcus Robinson headlined the bunch with Alvin Bailey, Ahmad Fulwood, Chris Thompson, and the recently departed Marqui Hawkins. This group will be counted on to contribute greatly in new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper‘s system. And with a year of experience under each of their belts, they’ll most likely do so.
Quinton Dunbar and Andre Debose will be looked upon to lead a receiving group whose leading receiver in terms of receptions (44), yards (556), and touchdowns (6) graduated (Solomon Patton). Look for Robinson to step in and be a huge factor after an impressive spring. Phillips impact has been felt off the field with his huge recruiting gets, but now it’s time to coach his players to become contributors.