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Prospect Spotlight: Tailback commit Dwight Phillips, Jr. was born to run

Texas Christian Horned Frogs v Georgia Bulldogs Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The Georgia Bulldogs already have 26 verbal commitments for the class of 2024 a full five months before early national signing day. And that makes sense. When you’re the two-time defending national champions, and you’ve had 25 players taken in the last two NFL drafts you’re not going to have difficulty filling a class.

While a majority of the players in the Bulldogs’ top-ranked class hail from outside the Peach State, a handful of standout instate players have really helped put this class over the top. One of those is Pebblebrook tailback tailback Dwight Phillips, Jr.

Phillips is blindingly fast (more on that shortly), and it’s no surprise. Few athletes have the athletic pedigree the Mableton native does. You may remember his father, the elder Dwight Phillips. You probably saw him winning the high jump gold medal at the 2004 Athens (no, the other one) Olympics. He also won the World Championships on four occasions. How much of Phillips the Younger’s wheels come from nature? How much from nurture?

I don’t know, but I know that he’s hands down one of the fastest prospects in the class of 2024. Phillips won the GHSA 7A 100 meters title last year with a scorching 10.43. He returned this spring and clocked a blistering 10.24. There’s a reasonable chance that as a senior Phillips could eclipse the 10.19 clocked by current Kansas City Chief and former Coffee County standout Tyreek Hill and the 10.18 state record of Florida Gator track star and Banneker alum Ryan Green. That’s world class company.

But Phillips isn’t just a track guy who puts on football pads. As a sophomore Phillips averaged 12.5 yards per carry and scored 7 touchdowns in 8 games from the tailback slot. He also showed promise as a receiver and kick returner. That promise bloomed into production during his junior season, as these highlights demonstrate.

Again, Phillips is fast. He’s faster than whoever you’re going to send to chase him. That’s why Phillips is ranked the #8 tailback and the #93 overall prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings. It’s why he counted offers from schools like Arkansas, Auburn, FSU, Michigan, and Oregon before choosing the ‘Dawgs. Mike Bobo has always liked having guys who can take it to the house on any given snap, and Phillips is decidedly that guy.

At 5’11 and 177 pounds Phillips currently has a track build rather than a football physique. That’s obviously subject to change, especially if he concentrates on the gridiron when he gets to Athens, and simply as he physically matures in a college strength program.

I’m also very excited about what Phillips can do in the passing game. As he develops his ball skills and route running he could become an utterly unfair dual threat.

2024 seems destined to continue the trend of previous cycles, in which an ever decreasing number of tailbacks are ranked among the five star prospects. As spread offenses and air raid attacks saturate high school playbooks more and more truly elite athletes are playing quarterback and receiver instead. Indeed, Dwight Phillips, Jr. isn’t the one cut and go tailback of Bulldog lore. But he’s got the kind of speed you can’t teach, and could grow into a true X-factor for the Red and Black offense. Until later…

Go ‘Dawgs!!!