One Mississippi State player offers a valuable lesson in persistence.
Linebacker Josiah Phillips, whose lone organized experience with his current sport before college was playing eight-man flag football because he was home schooled, was awarded a scholarship Tuesday. He has big motivation for continuing to show perseverance.
Here are the details from Michael Bonner of The Clarion-Ledger:
The memory of his father leaning against a fence for support because cancer depleted his strength while also pushing Phillips to do more overpowered any temptation to quit.
“My dad wasn’t a quitter so for me; everything is a matter of principle,” said Phillips, who grew up in Starkville. “I couldn’t look my family straight in the eyes if I just gave it up.”
Phillips’ father, Randy, died in October 2013. Before then, Phillips told his father his plans to walk on at Mississippi State in 2014. Randy had a Bulldogs connection, having served as a strength coach at the school. Phillips’ mother, Lucy, was a volleyball player at Mississippi State in the 1970s.
There’s a cool story to how Phillips learned about his scholarship. Here are more details from the story:
Tuesday night, highlights of linebacker Kelan Chairs played on the meeting room screens after practice. They transitioned into a highlight reel of Phillips. They were both called down to the front of the room.
“When he said that I was like, ‘Uh oh. What’s about to happen?’” Phillips said. “(Mullen) said, ‘Because of y’all’s hard work, and your commitment,’ then it got quiet then everyone jumped out of their seats and dogpiled.”
Chairs and Phillips each received scholarships. Phillips embraced Brown while he shed a few tears.
Who says hard work doesn’t pay off?