Over the summer, The Juice Online will be featuring players on the 2017 Syracuse football team as we countdown to kickoff. Today, The Juice Online looks at senior wide receiver Erv Philips.
Ervin Philips made it a priority to work on three things in the offseason after becoming one of the go-to players on SU’s offense.
Though Philips finished second on the team in receptions (90), receiving yards (822) and receiving touchdowns (6), he spent the season more focused on his drops than his catches.
“I would say being consistent,” Philips said during spring practice, when asked what he improved most in the offseason. “I have to be a guy to consistently catch the ball, a guy they can count on.”
That is made easier by having a full year understanding Dino Babers’ uptempo offense. Even as he adjusted on the fly, Philips was named All-ACC Honorable Mention at the end of the season.
Another key for Philips this season will be his fitness level.
“Getting a year under this offense, we know what to expect, what to do,” he said. “There’s a lot of running around as an inside receiver [with] changing formations.”
The last has been improving at reading the defense.
Philips said he has turned his attention to focusing on his presnap reads, focusing on where the opposing linebackers, corners and safties are lined up.
“That tells me a lot about what the coverage will be,” Philips said.
Those three things should make for a prolific senior season.
“It’ll be way better,” Philips said. “That first year [in Babers’ offense], I was still learning. This year will be much better because I’m working on being consistent.”
Inside slant: Philips and fellow senior Steve Ishmael should have plenty of opportunities as the top dogs in SU’s high-octane offense. Philips finished second in all major receiving categories only to Amba Etta-Tawo, and with a firmer grasp of the system, should improve on all of his marks from last year.
- Birthdate: January 1995
- Hometown: West Haven, Conn.
- High School: West Haven
- Position: Wide Receiver
- Class: Senior
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 181 lbs
Career highlights: In 2016, Philips was named an All-ACC Honorable Mention, starting all 12 games at inside receiver. He finished with 90 receiptions 822 yards and six touchdowns. He has started 19 straight games for the Orange.