Coming into the 2009 season, the Boston College Eagles were undergoing coaching changes while trying to deal with internal team losses.
Sophomore quarterback Dominique Davis had transferred out of Boston College due to grades and star linebackers were not projected to have a chance playing in 2009. The coaching staff scrambled to find another quarterback to add to the 2009 recruiting class.
They found that quarterback in 25 year old, ex minor league baseball player, Dave Shinskie. While many believed that he was far too displaced from the game, others thought he had all the tools to be successful for his whole career at the heights. Would Shinskie be a prominent ACC quarterback for years to come for the Eagles? Only time could tell.
Arguably the best thing Shinskie had going for him was BC’s experienced and talented wide receiving corps. With four seniors, including the much hyped Rich Gunnell, it was believed that Shinskie would receive as much help as he needed coming into the season.
The 2009 season came and went, and the Eagles went 8-5, including an Emerald Bowl loss to the USC Trojans. While many observers viewed their record as a success, the team as a whole was not satisfied with the final result.
Dave Shinskie had a mediocre season to most. He was known to use Gunnell as a crutch during many games while many other receivers seemed invisible on the field.
Coming into the offseason this was an immediate concern for Coach Spaziani because Rich Gunnell was graduating. While Colin Larmond Jr. had a breakout sophomore year and is projected to be a great deep threat this season, the depth and incoming talent on the roster was still an issue.
Enter Shakim Phillips. Once considered a long shot for the Eagles because of so many other offers from prominent programs (20 to count), he committed to the program in early September because of what he put as “a great balance of football tradition and education."
For Shakim, the stress had finally been lifted from trying to make a final decision of where to play football. He was an Eagle. After finishing his high school career at DePaul Catholic School in New Jersey where they went 7-3 which included a playoff run, he knew he needed to get ready for ACC football. He believed that his speed was the biggest void he needed to fill before coming to Chestnut Hill.
All off season he worked specifically on agility and speed drills in order to become a major threat on the team next year. While trying to stay away from directly recruiting players to join him up at BC, Shakim has become familiar with many incoming recruits as well as players currently on the roster.
Shakim said that when he met Colin Larmond Jr. on his official visit, the two hit it off immediately. They have spoken since then and Shakim said they have built a good friendship.
As for incoming freshmen, Shakim has become most familiar with C.J. Jones from Delaware who will vie for a spot on the Eagles secondary this year. Phillips said that he continues to remind C.J. which of the two was selected to play in the Army All-American game in San Antonio. While he joked about it often, Shakim said that it was “a privilege and an honor to be selected to play in this prestigious game.”
In San Antonio, he was able to work with great coaches as well as quarterback talent he was not usually accustomed to. He very well may be able to retain that sensation when he hits the field as an Eagle next year because prominent California product Chase Rettig is in the 2010 class as well.
As expected by any wide receiver, Shakim is extremely happy to have a quarterback with as much potential as Chase Rettig come to BC as well. As Shakim put it, “It’s great to have that type of player to put your faith into as a receiver. It just makes everything on the field easier for us [receivers]” With Chase already beginning his career at Boston College, Shakim has to wait until graduation before he can officially practice for the Eagles.
He’s counting down the days to National Signing day so he can finally put on his BC hat and end all stress accumulated his senior year. While he is still debatable whether or not BC’s 2010 class will reach its full potential, one thing definitely is for certain; Shakim Phillips is one player who won’t allow his talent and his promising future at Boston College to go to waste.
As Phillips stated “The doubters can speculate all they want, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be my work and passion for the game that will get me to where I want to be.” A determined player for a determined program.