SLOT MACHINE: After being moved around early in his career, Ervin Philips finally has turned into a star as a slot receiver

first_img Published on August 30, 2017 at 12:34 am Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt was a flashback to what happened frequently last year, and what will likely happen even more often when the season begins Sept. 1 against Central Connecticut State.Philips wasn’t consistently in the slot his first two seasons. He was nearly everywhere else. He arrived as a running back, the position he started at when he was at West Haven (Connecticut) High School. He also contributed as a kick returner, and assumed the role of the primary “hybrid” under then-offensive coordinator Tim Lester in 2015.In head coach Dino Babers’ up-tempo offense, he found a home at inside receiver, a place where he feels confident in his abilities as a playmaker. His 90 catches last season would have been the most ever for an SU receiver if not for the 94 grabbed by teammate Amba Etta-Tawo. With Etta-Tawo gone, Philips is poised to be one of Dungey’s top weapons.“I want to be the best receiver in the ACC,” Philips said.Even though he lined up primarily in the backfield at West Haven, the goal was to get him the ball in space. It’s why his high school coach Ed McCarthy ran jet sweeps with him and instructed his quarterbacks to throw him the ball in the flat. Philips set school records in touchdowns (88) and total offense (6,182 yards).When Philips was in high school, McCarthy watched many Mid-American Conference games, because they were frequently broadcast during the week. Unintentionally, it familiarized him with the Bowling Green offense run by Babers.“I almost knew that he would be the slot receiver (when Babers was hired at SU),” McCarthy said. “He’s made for that position really. I thought it was a perfect fit with him in the offense.”Babers said that during his first practice at SU, he and his staff instructed players to line up at whatever spot on the field they wanted to play at. Philips stood with the wide receivers.Wide receiver Steve Ishmael predicted Philips would excel if given the chance at receiver. They have been roommates for three years and now are the two senior wideouts who will be tasked with leading the offense. They spoke about this season as soon as they got back from winter break last year, Ishmael said.Philips said that earlier in his career, when he was being moved around a lot, he did not mind it. But from the first game last season, in which he set a school record with 14 receptions against Colgate, he knew he had found his permanent spot. After the breakout season he had last year, he is left wondering what might have been.“Now that I think about it,” Philips said, “I wish I had the time to really get used to one spot. When you’re at one position, you get to learn it more, you learn the ins and outs and you get to improve at that position. It’s (playing multiple roles early in his career) a blessing because it allowed me to show how versatile I can be, but at the same time I wish I could have stayed at one position.”To reach his individual goal of being the best receiver in the conference, Philips started working out at BreakOut Athlete, a local training facility that works with Division I and professional athletes.BOA has become known for its explosiveness training, director Frank Quido said, with the majority of its clients being football players who want to get faster off the line.It was initially difficult to develop a training regimen for Philips, Quido said, because he was already such a gifted athlete. But what stood out to Quido was Philips’ willingness to buy-in wholeheartedly to the training program, regardless of some of the untraditional exercises and equipment.“You know, most people when they come to my facility, this training is so much different than what they’re used to,” Quido said. “But he embraced everything I asked him to do. Never questioned why, never complained this was too hard.”The two worked together for about a month. In one drill, Philips stood behind a tackling dummy and Quido, standing on the other side, threw tennis balls both to the right and the left of the dummy. Philips stood in place, seeing where the balls were coming from and catching them to improve his hand-eye coordination.In another exercise focused on explosiveness, Philips ran on a treadmill while leaning forward until his chest touched a pole.Courtesy of Frank QuidoPhilips said he feels faster and stronger than he did a year ago. Junior Kielan Whitner has noticed it too. Whitner has played safety before for SU and is currently transitioning to linebacker. In both roles, he matches up with slot receivers in practice. This summer, in guarding Philips, Whitner said the hardest part is the bevy of moves that Philips can put on, forcing a defender to not key in on just one.“He got faster and more explosive off the line.” Quido said. “… We’re going to see him getting much more separation from defenders than we’ve ever seen before.”Philips is still learning on the job. He struggled in his shift trying to get off press coverage. He did not realize how important it was to use his hands before the throw is even made.McCarthy said, in retrospect, it’s a shame that Philips could not have redshirted his freshman season. Philips said he wishes he could have played in the slot all four years.With Etta-Tawo gone Philips recognizes that defenses might key in on him as the top target. His definition of being the best receiver in the ACC means being consistent every single game, not having a “rollercoaster” season. And even though he has been doing this for only one year, he is confident he can reach that status.“He just adjusts to things quickly,” Ishmael said. “He’s an athlete, he’s a football player and he’s been big time for us.”He proved Ishmael right a year ago. Now, to reach the postseason goals that he and Ishmael discussed, he needs to adjust to his new role. He needs to be big time.Banner photo by Jessica Sheldon Comments Ervin Philips burst off the line and went to block linebacker Shyheim Cullen. Eric Dungey took the snap and faked a pitch to running back Moe Neal who was split-out left.Syracuse’s first-string offense was scrimmaging against the second-string defense at the start of a practice inside the Ensley Athletic Center. On the first drive, the offense went three-and-out, drawing roars from the rest of the defense standing on the far sideline. To start the second drive, Dungey looked only toward his toward his speedy slot receiver. As Cullen bit on the fake pitch, Philips planted his left foot and burst right past the now flat-footed line linebacker, catching the ball thrown to the open space down the middle.last_img read more

BGC dismisses educational data allegations as ‘categorically untrue’

first_img ‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure  August 27, 2020 Share Submit Responding to recent media reports which alleged that UK betting firms had been engaging with breached data from the ‘Learning Records Service’ educational index, the Betting and Gaming Council (Betting and Gaming Council) has stated that the allegations ‘are categorically untrue.’In a statement on its website, the BGC reiterated that all betting companies are legally required to conduct age verification checks, and that the data used by the GB Group ‘is a crucial way in which operators prevent underage gambling.’The statement said: “Recent media reports suggested that betting companies had access to an educational database – the Learning Records Service – which includes the personal details of 28 million pupils aged 14 and above from state and private schools and colleges across the UK. The development was framed as one of the ‘biggest breaches of government data’. These stories are categorically untrue.“All betting companies are legally required to verify the age of people who wish to join to ensure that they are over the age of 18. Some of our members have used GB Group to assist with age verification checks.“This involves our members providing GB Group with the name, address and date of birth of the individual who has applied to open an account. GB Group then matches the information against data from multiple databases, via secure and encrypted API connections.“A simple ‘Match’ or ‘No Match’ is returned to our member company, which confirms or not if the applicant has provided true information on their application. This therefore confirms or otherwise that the applicant is over the age of 18. The service provided by GB Group has had a significant positive impact on ensuring that no one under the age of 18 is permitted to open a betting account or place a bet online.“Rather than being a means to induce young people towards gambling, this data usage is a crucial way in which operators prevent underage gambling.”The allegations of using breached data has come at a turbulent time for the betting industry, with a number of betting companies coming under increased scrutiny from the UK media and government.Earlier this month, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) carried out an investigation into the live streaming contracts of bookmakers which allowed Bet365, Betfair, William Hill, Coral, Ladbrokes, Unibet and Paddy Power to broadcast FA Cup matches – an arrangement criticised by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).The BGC addressed the scrutiny: “At the BGC, we are acutely aware of the scrutiny currently levelled at our industry, from the public, politicians and the media. But in this important dialogue, it is crucial that media outlets are facilitators of the truth. In this instance, contrary to these reports, data is used to protect a vulnerable group of society from betting and gaming illegally, not to encourage them to do so.“Indeed, a recent report by the Gambling Commission illustrated how measures such as these have significantly restricted the occurrence of underage gambling. The forms of gambling that are most prevalent among those aged under 18 are the purchase of national lottery tickets or playing cards with family and friends.“Our members operate a zero-tolerance policy for any individuals engaging with betting and gaming under the legal age. Our members’ relationship with age-verification companies is one vital way we ensure that those underage don’t gamble with our members.” Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Share Related Articles SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 StumbleUponlast_img read more