July 15, 2008

Phillips has change of heart

It took less than 24 hours for Montez Phillips to have strong second thoughts.

Phillips, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound wide receiver/quarterback/athlete from Oxford (Lafayette), Miss., committed to Mississippi State on Monday morning. On Tuesday, after a conversation with Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, Phillips was backing off that somewhat.

"After I made the decision, I started thinking that I was jumping to the decision too early," Phillips said, adding that he might wait until National Signing Day in February to make a final decision. "I'm still open."

Phillips, a three-star prospect who plays quarterback in high school, said he and Nutt had an interesting conversation this morning.

"Coach Nutt said it just motivated him to want me more and he wanted me to keep an open mind," Phillips said.

Phillips said he's going to try to attend Ole Miss' invitation-only camp on July 26, in large part because he wants to see how the Rebels use him. Phillips said Monday that Mississippi State is recruiting him as a wide receiver and he was willing to play the position. Ole Miss has recruited Phillips more as a quarterback/athlete. Phillips said one of the reasons he had such immediate buyer's remorse was because of his strong feelings about playing quarterback.

"That's really why I want to go to Ole Miss' camp," Phillips said. "I want to play quarterback. I'm used to playing that position. I've been playing that position since sixth grade. That kind of has me thinking about my decision."

Phillips said he's gotten limited local reaction since Monday's announcement.

"I really didn't talk to anybody," Phillips said. "I made the decision and then went to Water Valley. I am going to go down to town today. I was in the dentist office this morning and some guy told me I had made a dumb decision. I don't think he knew I'd changed my mind."

The conversation with the stranger in the dentist's office wasn't the only uncomfortable one he'll have today. Phillips said he'll call the Mississippi State staff tonight to inform them of his change of heart.

"It's 50-50," Phillips said, when asked what he'll tell the Bulldogs' coaches. "I'm committed to State, but I still have an open mind."

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