Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Batman and Robin…. These are just a few examples of some of the best duos in the history of duos. Of these historic duos, we may have to make room for one more …… P.J. and Cam. Cam Phillips makes up the other half of the phenomenal offensive Roughneck connection that QB P.J. Walker has been dropping dimes to this XFL football season. Cam Phillips currently leads the league in receiving with 31 receptions for 455 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns as of week 5 and it doesn’t seem like he is slowing down. Cam Phillips kind of just came out of no where as the Roughnecks top receiver. During most of the hype leading up to the Houston Roughnecks official roster, most people thought, including myself, that Auburn product Sammie Coates would be the primary threat. After watching the Week 1 matchup between the Roughnecks and the Wildcats, it never seemed like P.J. and Sammie could ever get on the same page. Sammie had 9 targets during that Week 1 match up, with only 2 receptions, but Cam…hoo-hah CAM snagged 4 of his 8 targets for 67 yards and a touchdown, thereby foretelling a match made in XFL football heaven. With 5 full weeks of football under our belt, and 5 more to go in the XFL regular season, I thought it would be fitting for the 5th installment of our “Who Is…” series to highlight a clear star within the XFL and Houston Roughnecks organization….(Insert shameless plug: Yes I have written 5 of these, you can find the others here) I personally did not realize who Cam Phillips was until the 2nd week of the XFL season, so you will have to excuse me. With that said, I pose the question…. Who is Cam Phillips?
Cameron “Cam” Phillips attended DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Maryland as a 6-foot-1, 181 pound 3-Star prospect wide receiver. He played on both sides of the ball but would emerge as nationally recognized wide out during his senior season. Cam’s senior year would be his coming out party, and the season opener would make for the grand entrance. The season opener matches up would be against an out of state opponent from North Carolina named Hillside High School (N.C.). That night, Cam caught 7 passes for 145 yards and scored 4 touchdowns, leaving their North Carolina opponents with a lot to think about defensively. My man absolutely ate. Cam would complete his senior season with 34 receptions, for 632 yards and 8 touchdowns. Phillips would also be selected to play in the annual high school 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, thereby putting a “bow” on the fantastic season he already had. His senior year would prove to be productive enough to earn him scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Penn State, Rutgers, and West Virginia. He ultimately decided to become a Virginia Tech Hokie.
Cam would enter Blacksburg, Virginia as an immediate weapon for the Virginia Tech offense during his freshman year. Phillips would have 40 receptions for 498 yards and 3 touchdowns, and even had 5 rushes for 65 yards his freshman season. His ongoing production would continue during his sophomore and junior year, but he would absolutely begin punching his ticket for the NFL during his senior year. Virginia Tech’s head coach, Justin Fuente, would be quoted telling the Associated Press, “He [Phillips] understands the game. He understands leverages. He understands alignments. He’s a smart football player. “ During Cam’s senior year as a Hokie, he would account for 44.3 percent of the Hokies’ receptions, 49.3 percent of the Hokies yards receiving, and 44.3 percent of Techs overall targets. (ESPN Stats and Info) It was clear, Cam Phillips was THE “go-to” wide out for the Hokie offense. His production levels were untouchable, and he was clearly becoming one of the best receivers in the country during his 2017 senior season. Cam was so busy at his wide out production that he would prepare to leave VTech with several school records, including some single season school records. Stat wise, Cam would end his tenure as a Hokie with 236 career receptions for 3027 career yards and 17 career touchdowns. The only unfortunate situation to occur during his senior year stellar performance, would be a sports hernia that he sustained at the conclusion of the season. He would miss Virginia Tech’s bowl game to have surgery and start recovery in preparation for draft season.
His eventual arrival to the NFL would be somewhat rocky, so try to follow.
Ok, so Cam was invited to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine but would not be able to participate due the sports hernia surgery he was still recovering from at the time. This would somewhat affect his draft stock, as other top receivers like Calvin Ridley of Georgia and D.J. Moore of Maryland shined during that same combine. Phillips would have already wasted one opportunity to showcase his skills when he participated in the Virginia Techs Pro Day. This showing would be unimpressive as he clocked a 40 time of 4.79 seconds, which was average for a receiver of his caliber. His overall pro day wasn’t one to ride home with for most scouts, but this was largely due to the hernia surgery he was still rehabbing from. After all of this, anyone could kind of guess that Cam would unfortunately go undrafted during the, but NFL Draft. Cam would still remain very optimistic, tweeting “God, I thank you for going undrafted and unsigned…. because it taught me something valuable.” I would say that any lesson that would come from this would not be of any fault from Cam. Things happen, and it would have been absolutely no way that Cam could have controlled getting hurt at the end of his senior season.
Despite the setbacks Cam faced with his rehab and pro day, he would have an opportunity to sign with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent on May 11th, 2018. Philips would eventually be wavied by the Bills September 1st, 2018 and would sign to the Bills practice squad the following day. He would remain on the Bills practice squad until August 31st, 2019, when the Bills would eventually waive Phillips a final time.
Timing is everything in this situation, as the XFL had announced their rebirth for a 2020 season. Cam would be drafted in the sixth round of the 2020 XFL Draft by the Houston Roughnecks on October 15th, 2019. Now, we have already discussed the damage this man Cam has been dishing out on XFL defenses these past 5 weeks but let me just add that this man has already accumulated 2 “XFL Star of the Week Awards”. People…. ITS ONLY BEEN 5 WEEKS! At the time of writing this, he might get another one for week 5. He’s a monster and seems to try to prove a point to the NFL to say, “hey, you missed one”. He is definitely tapping into the same production he had as a Hokie, and will continue to dominate with his tandem partner P.J. I know we all hope that his success continues to soar. I personally look forward too many more record-breaking performances by Mr. Cam Phillips. So class what did we learn today, lets recap. Who is number 14 for the Houston Roughnecks? Cam Phillips. Where can find him? In the endzone.
Thank you all for reading. Let me know if there is anyone else you guys may want to hear about. I typically write every week and post them to my blog and YouTube channel. Check my bio for links.