Blake Baker expects Jaelan Phillips to be video game good for Miami football

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Jaelan Phillips has a chance to be a special player for the Miami football program in 2020. Defensive coordinator Blake Baker has compared Phillips to the ideal player in the NCAA Football video game.

Redshirt junior defensive end Jaelan Phillips will be a starter for the Miami football team during the 2020 season after redshirt sophomore Greg Rousseau announced he will be opting out of the 2020 season to get ready for the 2021 NFL Draft. Defensive coordinator Blake Baker spoke to Hurricanes beat writers on Thursday.

Baker discussed Phillips’ development and what makes him so good during the conference call via Zoom. Phillips was the number one signee in the country in 2017 with UCLA. After sitting out last season, Phillips will have the opportunity with Miami opposite graduate transfer Quincy Roche to provide Miami with an elite pass rush.

The expectation for the 2020 season was that Phillips would be able to work his way back into the rotation and get used to playing again after missing sitting out the 2019 season as a transfer and to heal multiple injuries. Now, Phillips. Roche and redshirt freshman Jahfari Harvey will anchor the Miami rotation of edge rushers.

Even without Rousseau, Miami has the 2019 AAC Defensive Player of the Year Roche and Phillips who previously mentioned was the top signee nationally in the Class of 2017. The Miami football coaching staff is very high on Harvey as well. Baker stated Harvey might the best athlete on the Hurricanes defensive line including Rousseau.

"On Jaelan Phillips’ Development“I feel really good about him. I think he’s 265-pounds and did a standing backflip the other day from a standstill position. Those kind of guys don’t really exist very often. Obviously athletically he brings a lot to the table. Very smart young man.We only got to see four days of him in the spring as well so we’re excited to see him put it all together. He was knocking some of the rust off early and having some of this time to really study the film and study our defense. I’m excited to see what he brings to the table this year.”Phillips best football is in front of him“That’s to be seen from our standpoint. I think his best football is in front of him. Like I said, knocking some of the rust off, had not played in a  while. But athletically, I mean I’ve said it before, it’s like creating a player on NCAA football. He’s 6-4-6-5,  265-pounds. Very low body fat percentage, flexible.Like i said earlier very, very smart, studies the game. He’s got all the tangible and the intangibles and we just got to put it all together on the field.”"

Manny Diaz knows how to evaluate and develop defensive linemen, especially edge rushers. Entering the 2019 season, Rousseau had only two games of experience as a true freshman in 2018 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Rousseau had never played in an ACC game entering the 2019 season.

Next. Diaz and Baker show great leadership with Rousseau. dark

Phillips enters the 2020 season with 11 games of experience with UCLA during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Phillips had 41 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and two pass breakups for the Bruins. More production than that is possible from Phillips with the talent and upside he has. The opportunity will be there in 2020.