Miami Hurricanes DE Jaelan Phillips transformed body during redshirt season

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Redshirt junior defensive end Jaelan Phillips was able to transform his body while sitting out last season as a transfer from UCLA. Phillips should be an impactful player on the Miami Hurricanes defense in 2020.

The tandem of redshirt junior Jaelan Phillips and graduate transfer Quincy Roche at defensive end should provide the Miami Hurricanes with one of the duos of edge rushers in college football. During a redshirt season in 2019 after transferring from UCLA, Phillips was able to transform his body.

Phillips transferred to Miami weighing 245 pounds as an edge rusher in the Bruins 3-4 defense. Entering the 2020 season after 19 months in the weight room with Miami strength and conditioning coordinator David Feeley, Phillps is up to 266 pounds as a DE in the Hurricanes 4-3 defense.

The loss of redshirt sophomore DE Greg Rousseau who chose to opt-out of the 2020 season elevates Phillips to a near-certain starter. Without Rousseau; Phillips, Roche and redshirt freshman Jahfari Harvey will be counted on as the top three edge rushers in the Miami DE rotation in 2020.

Phillips retired from football for a short time while at UCLA. He transferred to Miami from his home state because of the music program. Being away from the game and the weight room posed challenges for the top signee in the country in 2017. Phillips spoke to the Miami Herald last week about his progress.

"“A year of not being in the weight room definitely makes your muscles atrophy a little bit…The good thing is I already have a big framework. I mean, obviously it was a challenge, a lot of hard work and my diet is crazy. I have to eat around 260 grams of protein a day just to kind of maintain what I got going on.When I first came in I wasn’t cleared to work out during fall camp so I was literally every single day working out for two hours during practice. So I think that time was definitely just what I needed. It let my body kind of naturally get back.”"

Phillips is one of the most active Miami Hurricanes on twitter. He has frequently posted about his progress and intentions for the 2020 season. The opportunity to prove he is still an elite player is there in 2020. With Phillips and Roche leading the Miami Hurricanes pass rush they can still be elite this season.

Next. National CFB analyst Feldman says Phillips in freaky shape. dark

The program record of 52 sacks in a season is within reach. Phillips is less of an unknown than Rousseau was a season ago. Back to health, Phillips is one of the most imposing and athletic players in college football. Miami Co-Defensive coordinator Blake Baker compared Phillips to the type of player-created on a video game.