Back in July, Cam Phillips of Virginia Tech was hands down the most stylistic player at ACC Media Days. Phillips, Tech’s star senior wide receiver, rocked a pair of sunglasses that were straight up out of the Russell Westbrook wardrobe.
VT's Cam Phillips not holding back with the outfit. Apparently he wears these glasses all the time. pic.twitter.com/NYV5Z4p8wg
— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) July 14, 2017
Cam Phillips: Becoming “The Guy”
Virginia Tech didn’t have to look too hard to find its top receiving option when Isaiah Ford decided to turn pro. The ascension of Cam Phillips into a No. 1 receiver is no surprise; he was more than qualified for the role.
Phillips entered the 2017 season already with 2,063 receiving yards to his name. He collected 983 receiving yards last season, which ranked fifth in the ACC. As a junior, he was targeted 97 times, and hauled in 76 of those for receptions — a catch rate of 78.4 percent, better than Ford. Phillips also ranked fifth in the ACC with 37 receptions of 10-plus yards, and seventh with 13 receptions of 20-plus yards.
More of the same, really
The key for Cam Phillips would be how quickly he was able to connect with redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Jackson. Well, it didn’t take too long, that’s for sure.
Jackson has targeted Phillips on nearly 40 percent of his pass attempts — 19 in total — per Football Study Hall. Sean Savoy is the only other Hokie with double-digit targets (12). Phillips has hauled in 12 of those for a catch rate of 68.4 percent.
That’s a strong catch rate, especially when you factor in his explosiveness, too. Phillips is averaging 17.5 yards per catch (No. 9 in the ACC) and 12 yards per target. The senior is tied for second in the nation with six receptions of 20-plus yards, including a 32-yard touchdown against West Virginia.
The touchdown reception against the Mountaineers wasn’t even the best catch that he had in the win over WVU.
In total, Phillips racked up seven receptions for 138 yards against WVU; he became just the fourth Hokies since the 2000 season to catch seven passes for at least 130 yards in a single game.