For the past two years, we’ve wondered why the Gopher staff hasn’t targeted an elite successor to Zach Sanders, their talented lead-off batter that’s gunning for the rarified air of four-time All American status this year.
Now we might know why.
On Saturday, Minnesota landed Cody Phillips of Union County, Indiana, who could be a potential staple in future Gopher line-ups.
Phillips has enjoyed a fabulous prep career, posted two consecutive undefeated state championship seasons in his freshman and sophomore campaigns at 103. Last year, at 112lbs, he placed 3rd in a wickedly talented Indiana state bracket.
He was a Flonational Runner-Up in 2010 and has a career record of 136-2.
He was listed as one of our key recruits in our Top Prospects and was formerly ranked as the #1 103lber in our all-class rankings.
Whereas there was some uncertainty as to the Gophers’ future after Sanders, they now have talented depth with Phillips, recent commit, Sam Brancale, and current freshman Jordan Kingsley.
We had the opportunity to talk to Cody regarding his decision. Here’s what he had to say…
TOM: What led to your decision to go to the Gophers?
CP: It’s like family there; on my visit I just felt like I was part of the team and all the guys are great. I know I will fit in great there. And, for practice parters, there’s no better room in the country for me. I feel Minnesota has everything I need to become a national champ.
TOM: What is your relationship with the coaches and wrestlers at Minnesota like?
CP: When I went to visit I got along great with all the guys. They made me feel right at home. We all have the same mind-set. As for coaches, I only got to be around them for that weekend so far, but they’re great. J Rob is a great man and he knows his wrestling.
TOM: Talk about your recruiting trip to Minnesota.
CP: It was a great experience. I visited all over campus and watched the tough workouts the team does. I stayed in the dorms to get a feel what that was like .
TOM: What other schools were you considering?
CP: Other schools were Purdue, Michigan State, and Missouri. But Minnesota was the one for me. People say you will know when it’s the right place for you. Well, I felt it at Minnesota!
TOM: How do you see yourself fitting in the line-up? Are you a career 125lber?
CP: I think I will fit in the line up great. I work hard and push myself to where I should be. I will have other team mates to push me to succeed. And yes, I plan on being a career 125lber for the Gophers.
TOM: What might you major in?
CP: Not quit sure yet on this one! I’ve thought about a career as a conservation officer, so maybe a criminal justice major. I’m also interested in possibly studying something in sports and medicine.
TOM: Would you like to add anything else?
CP: I hope to do great things at Minnesota and become a national champ. I would like to thank my parents because they’re a big part of where I am today. And Ed Pendowski and Brady Eppert (Phillips’ club coaches at CIA Wrestling) because without these people I might have never made it to being able to compete at the next level for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Congratulations to Cody Phillips and the Indiana and Minnesota wrestling communities!