0712RecruitingAUDListen to Gainesville's Phillip Gaines talk about school's he's interesting in to play college football
Gainesville rising senior Phillip Gaines likes the advice given by his father Phillip Gaines Sr. As a former member of the Army, the father tells his son to always be ready to step up and be a leader. That advice sits well with the linebacker for the Red Elephants.
Not only does the younger Gaines want to be a leader for Gainesville this season, but he also wants to secure a college football scholarship.
The 5-foot-10, 210-pound inside linebacker has received a fair amount of interest in his playing abilities from schools such as Coastal Carolina, Wake Forest, Furman, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Alabama.
So far, Coastal Carolina and Wake Forest are the two favorites for Gaines, since he feels he could step in and play at both of those schools. Heading into the season, Gaines is still waiting for his first official offer.
"I know going into my senior season I really need to have a good year," Gaines said.
With a college football scholarship in mind he’s set some lofty goals this season.
"Individually, I want to finish with 120 tackles this season," Gaines said.
He wants to do his part individually to accomplish team goals, as well.
"I want to beat North Hall since they are such a big rival," he said. "And I want to beat Flowery Branch because I have a lot of friends that play there."
Gaines, a two-year starter for Gainesville, has tried to improve his value to a college program by increasing his speed, shaving nearly one-tenth of a second off of his time in the 40-yard dash, from a 4.75 seconds to 4.66.
Gaines also works out regularly at Competitive Edge Sports in Gwinnett County, in addition to one-day camps at schools such as Coastal Carolina and Furman, that help get some exposure to his playing abilities.
"Phillip is being recruited, but really needs to have a great senior season," Gainesville coach Bruce Miller said. "College coaches want a player that is going to be able to make play after play after play."
Miller says Gaines’ academic standing works in his favor. With a strong senior season, he could see Gaines playing at a school like Duke, Vanderbilt or Samford.
Miller says Gaines may be on the borderline for what college coaches look for size-wise in an inside linebacker.
"With his size, is he a Division I, I-AA or Division II player?," Miller said.
Gainesville’s coach says it may work in the team’s favor having a handful of players with something to left to prove to college recruiters. Miller says Gaines is in the same boat as fellow rising seniors Brock Boleman and Josh Jackson, needing a big senior season to secure a chance to play in college.
"I’ve dealt with the early offers and I think that affects how the kids play during the senior season," Miller added.