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Kenny Phillips
No. 21     New York Giants
Personal information
Date of birth: November 24, 1986 (1986-11-24) (age 23)
Place of birth: Miami, Florida
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
College: Miami (Fl.)
NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 32
Debuted in 2008 for the New York Giants
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Injury Reserve
Career highlights and awards
  • USA Today Defensive High School Player of the Year (2004)
  • Sporting News Freshman All-ACC (2005)
  • Sporting News Freshman All-American (2005)
  • First-team All-ACC (2006)
  • First-team All-ACC (2007)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2009
Tackles     80
Sacks     0.0
INTs     3
Stats at

Kenneth Phillips (born November 24, 1986 in Miami, Florida) is an American football safety for the New York Giants of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Giants 31st overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played collegiately at the University of Miami.


Early years

Phillips attended Miami Carol City High School in Miami, Florida where he played safety. As a senior in 2004, played free safety and finished with 84 tackles, six interceptions, three fumble recoveries, four defensive touchdowns and three punt returns for touchdowns. Phillips intercepted 16 passes during his high school career. He also played in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

In 2004, Phillips was the nation's top safety prospect and USA Today Defensive Player of the Year. Phillips was a Parade All-American and was selected to the PrepStar Top 100 Dream Team. He was rated the nation's No. 1 safety prospect by leading college recruiting magazines Rivals and Scout and the No. 12 and No. 10 overall prospect by Rivals and Scout respectively. He was considered the No. 1 prospect in Dade County by The Miami Herald and the No. 1 prospect in the state by the Orlando Sentinel.

College career

Phillips ultimately chose to attend the University of Miami over Tennessee, Florida State and North Carolina State.

In his freshman year, Phillips was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team after starting 11 games at free safety. He ranked third on the team with 93 tackles (58 solo), recovered two fumbles, broke up four passes and recorded one interception. Phillips interception came against the Clemson Tigers in triple overtime and sealed the win for the Hurricanes.[1]

As a sophomore, Phillips was named to the All-ACC 1st Team and 2nd team All-American by He started 10 games out of 10 at strong safety, missing only three games due to a torn ACL. He ranked fourth on the team in tackles with 71 total, broke up 6 passes, and recorded 4 interceptions. Phillips earned "ACC Defensive Back of the Week" honors for his play against Duke in which he tied a University of Miami record with three interceptions in one game.[2]

Phillips was also named to the 2006 All-ACC Academic Football Team. [3]

As a junior, Phillips was named to the All-ACC 1st Team for a second straight year, and 2nd team All-American for a second straight year.[4] He started 12 games out of 12 at safety. Phillips ranked second on the team with a career high, 95 tackles(69 solo), made 6.5 tackles for loss, forced three fumbles, broke up 5 passes and intercepted 2 passes.

Professional career


2008 NFL Draft

Phillips was drafted in the first round (31st overall) by the New York Giants in the 2008 NFL Draft.[5][6] Many experts claimed there were no safeties in the draft worth a 1st-round pick, aside from Phillips; as expected, he was the only safety drafted in the 1st-round. His selection also continued the remarkable streak of University of Miami safeties selected in the 1st-round, the last being Brandon Meriweather, who was selected 24th overall by the New England Patriots in 2007. Prior to the draft, The Sporting News compared Phillips to Deon Grant.[7]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6′2¼″ 212 lb 4.48 1.47 2.53 4.27 6.97 32½ in. 10′1″ 19 rep
All values from NFL Combine[8]

New York Giants

Phillips was expected to compete for the vacant free safety position left by Gibril Wilson, who left for free agency to the Oakland Raiders in the 2008 offseason. Phillips stated his goals with the Giants in his first season are to "come in, learn and try to make a statement."[6] Entering mini-camp, Phillips chose to wear the number 21 as a tribute to the late Sean Taylor, who, like Phillips, played safety at the University of Miami and wore the number 21 when he played for the Washington Redskins.[6] [9] On July 22, Phillips agreed to a five-year contract worth up to $11.15 million.

At the end of the 2008 preseason, Phillips was slated at the #2 spot on the depth chart at the free safety position behind Michael Johnson.

While not a starter, Phillips split time at the free safety position with Johnson and also played on special teams. He made the first interception of his career in week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, coming with only minutes left in the 4th quarter, sealing a 21-14 victory for the Giants. Phillips got his first start of the season against the Eagles while James Butler was out with an injury. He remained the starter when Butler returned from his injury. As the season continued, Phillips' play showed marked improvement.

As no University of Miami player was selected in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Kenny Phillips' selection in 2008 marks the end of a fourteen year streak during which at least one Miami Hurricane football player was taken each year.

On September 24, Phillips was placed on injured reserve with an "unhealthy left knee".[10] Phillips was diagnosed with patellofemoral arthritis in his left knee before the season, and the condition worsened through the first two games of the 2009 season. Following microfracture surgery, it is unclear whether Phillips will be able to return to the level of play he exhibited before the injury.[11]


External links


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