Arizona Wildcats receiver Nate Phillips, coming off a record-setting bowl performance, has been selected as a Freshman All-American.
The Football Writers’ Association of America announced its all-freshman team Monday.
Phillips led Arizona in receptions (51), receiving yards (696) and receiving touchdowns (seven). He averaged 23.9 yards on his scoring catches.
Thirty of his receptions came in the last five games.
“I felt I showed everyone what I can do, that I can play,” he said before Arizona’s 42-19 win over Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La.
Phillips, a 5-foot-7 slot receiver, had nine catches against the Eagles and set a school record for true freshmen with his 193 receiving yards. That game marked the only 100-yard effort of the season for an Arizona receiver.
Phillips, from Chandler Basha High, was rated only as a two-star recruit by Rivals and Scout, although 247Sports did give him a three-star grade. Arizona’s other leading true freshman — linebacker Scooby Wright (who earned True Freshman All-America honors from 247Sports — was a two-star recruit across the board.
You never know in recruiting.
Phillips, Samajie Grant (47 receptions for 373 yards) and Trey Griffey (14 receptions in the final four games) are sophomores-to-be in what will be talented and packed wide receiver corps.
David Richards (looking for a full season of health) and speedy Garic Wharton are veteran holdovers for a group that returns Austin Hill from an ACL injury and adds touted transfers Davonte’ Neal and Cayleb Jones.
Several freshmen join the mix, too.
“Everybody has got to get better,” Phillips said.
“I’m going to take it upon myself that if I want a spot, I’m going to go out there and fight for it. At the same time as I’m doing that, if Davonte’ or Cayleb or whoever is there next to me is thinking the same way, it’s only going to make everyone better.”