He recently came to grips with the fact that he has played his last football game in a TCU uniform, but former Frogs’ linebacker Jason Phillips relishes the time he spent blitzing quarterbacks and dragging down ball-carriers for his team.
“It was everything and more,” he told BigPurpleNation . “Now that I’m done, I have no regrets and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I had the time of my life.”
When asked about the defining moment in his Horned Frog career, Phillips said he thought the Poinsettia Bowl win over Boise State this past season stuck out in his mind.
The bowl win gave TCU a record 41 wins in the past four seasons, something Phillips said he is extremely proud of. This year he became the only player in Mountain West Conference history to earn first or second all-conference honors in four consecutive seasons.
Phillips finished his career with 315 tackles, 7.5 sacks and two interceptions while playing in all but one game over a four year period.
After playing in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday, he now sets his sights at the NFL Combine, which takes place late February.
“The combine is just another chance for me to show that I’ve got straight on speed as far as the forty -yard dash goes and that I can move side to side, as well as cover one –on-one,” he said. “Those are some of the things that scouts have been iffy about with me. But I’m just going to go and showcase my skills.
The 6-1, 240 pound Waller, TX native runs a 4.5 in the forty and he said some may not realize he is that fast because of his hard-nosed, blue collar approach to the game.
“People know that I’m strong and tough, but I want to show everyone that I’ve got the agility to play linebacker at the next level,” he said.
If given the chance to play in the NFL, Jason said he would really like to play somewhere north of Texas.
“I’m a big fan of cold weather,” he said. “I would love to go anywhere up north like Green Bay, Minnesota or Chicago. I’ve lived in Texas my whole life and I’m so tired of the heat. But to be honest with you I will go anywhere. Anyone who wants me, I will go there and showcase what I can do.”
So how will the Horned Frogs’ linebackers Tank Carder and Daryl Washington fare next season without Phillips and Robert Henson?
“I think you’re going to have to give Tank a little time to grow into his role on defense,” Phillips said. “But he’s got the athletic ability. He has the size and speed, but now it’s time for him to realize that he needs to be one of the leaders on the defense that steps up and make plays. One he does that, I think he will be pretty good.”
Phillips said Washington, who will be a senior next season, made great strides towards understanding the defense inside and out. That should help him use his great athleticism to make an even bigger impact next season.
“From Hawthorne to Henson and now down to Washington and Carder, one of the things we’ve had at TCU is great linebackers,” Phillips said.
Phillips expressed how proud he is of the way TCU has built a winning program that has an increasing number of highly touted high school players interested in playing for the Horned Frogs.
“There’s just something about TCU,” he said. “Coach Patterson just really wants to win football games and that is really attractive to kids coming out of high school. The coaches have really changed things here and I’m just glad to have been a part of it.”