Nov. 12, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. - Andrew Phillips has made 32 starts over the past three seasons - last season at left guard and in 2008 at right guard. In that time, Stanford has produced two of the three most prolific rushing seasons in school history. Stanford is currently ranks fifth in the nation in scoring while the offensive line has helped pave the way for a young Cardinal rushing attack to average 223.0 yards a game, 12th best in the nation. Much of the reason for the success is the bond shared by a veteran offensive line of Phillips, Jonathan Martin, Chase Beeler, David DeCastro, and Derek Hall.
GoStanford.com recently caught up with Andrew to talk about his student-athlete experience at Stanford.
Andrew Phillips on ...
What attracted you to your major of classics?
I've been interested in the ancient world. It's always been fascinating to me that the same questions are being pondered right now - What's the meaning of life? What does it mean to fall in love? All these immortal questions - are still being asked now that were asked thousands of years ago. If you look at the foundations of politics, government, rhetoric, warfare, poetry, the arts ... a lot that's valued in culture was founded in ancient Greece and Rome. I take a lot of interest in that.
It seems like the locker room might not have conventional conversations at times.
It's funny, you talk to every team on campus and they all comment that while most teams may be talking about TV or something like that, people here are having deep philosophical conversations.
How do you find that balance between academics and athletics, especially with the amount of work you must do on a regular basis?
Probably the most important things, aside from time management, is doing something you're interested in and passionate about. As with anything in life, if you're not passionate about what you're doing, it's going to reflect in the product of the work you do. If you're not interested in what you're studying, you're not going to motivated to read about it and you're not going to be motivated to study it. Probably the most important thing for me was finding a major that I was excited about going to class every day and learning about. It's definitely what I found in classics.
What class has had the most impact?
I've had great classes and great professors, but the one that's had the most impact is "The Meditations" of Marcus Aurelius. It's a collection of little anecdotes and notes he wrote to himself and there is debate on whether he intended to have them published or not. But it's little things on how to be a man. He talks a lot about how to deal with pain, how to deal with the anxiety that comes with having to provide for a family - in general, how to be a good leader.
Andrew Phillips on ...
Do you take pride in that one individual does not make the rushing game, but the team as a whole?
We're lucky because we have a stable full of excellent running backs. You go down the line and every single guy has different qualities that make him a great back. Stepfan has vision, he runs angry, he runs downhill. Usua has the burst of speed. That quick twitch he's got makes him hard to get down. Anthony Wilkerson, a young guy coming along, is playing beyond his years, learning the playbook. Patch (Jeremy Stewart) has had some injuries, but we still rely on his leadership.
Quarterback Andrew Luck
He's a special player. I don't think you can possibly ask for a better quarterback or a better human being than Andrew Luck. He's a great friend, great teammate, great leader, great quarterback. He makes all of the right calls. He's the most prepared guy on the field in every game and I just couldn't be happier for his success.
Continuity in the offensive line
It's a big deal. It's gotten to a point where a lot a communication doesn't necessarily take place verbally. Everybody's looking at the same thing, knowing where they've got to be, and there's a line of second-level communication that takes place in being able to get things fixed during the game -- not only talk about them, but get them fixed the next time you go out. That's a thing that I think we've improved from last year: being able to notice problems, be honest with each other and have them corrected the next time we go out there. It's about playing together, learning each other's tendencies and getting the cohesiveness and trust in each other that we have now. It's a pretty special thing.