The San Francisco 49ers are pretty stacked on the defensive line but that doesn’t mean they will stop looking at prospects. One player they have had contact with in particular is Harrison Phillips. He played just up the road from 49ers headquarters in Palo Alto at Stanford.
Phillips is primarily a defensive tackle although he has played everywhere on the defensive line. That would include a brief stint at nose tackle during his freshman year after injuries devastated the Cardinal line. Phillips was thrown into the role at 18, and about 40 pounds underweight for the task. He even played a little tight end in high school, but he confesses he's most comfortable at defensive tackle in 3-tech and 5-tech.
Phillips’ ties to the 49ers are numerous. He has remained close to former teammate Solomon Thomas and his head coach David Shaw is a regular on the 49ers’ practice field. He also attended two or three 49ers games over the 2017 season. One of the many things Phillips has going for him is that fact that he already graduated with a degree in Science and Technology in December so he would not be held out of OTAs as Thomas was with school restrictions.
Phillips’ one major injury was a left ACL he had surgically repaired in 2015, and it hasn't limited him since. While he does realize the defensive line room is filled with a lot of talent, he sees it as an opportunity to learn from the veterans and grow. Like in his freshman year, when he thought he'd finish his redshirt year, he realizes you never know what might happen for your number to get called. He says he would bring to the room is his high energy and effort as well as his ability to pick up the play book quickly.
Phillips is very close to his family that resides in Nebraska where he grew up. He shared his path to Stanford which is a great story of going against all odds and definitely worth a read.