A phrase that gets used a lot in college recruiting is “you can’t teach size.” The same can be said about 2015 OT Philip Walton of Charlotte Christian School in North Carolina. The 6’7” 265 lbs junior is starting to gain attention in the recruiting world and for a player who didn’t start playing the game until high school, he’s picking things up very quick.
“Since middle school coaches were telling me I should try out for football because of my size,” says Walton. “Growing up I had a lot of time invested in swimming and never gave much thought to another sport. When I started high school I gave football a chance and once I had that first hit, I fell in love with it.”
Walton saw playing time at both offensive line and defensive line last season on a Charlotte Christian team that won back-to-back state titles. It was his first season on varsity and he finally got a chance to show flashes of his potential.
“Last year was like a roller coaster for me,” says Walton. “There were a lot of linemen in front of me at the start of the season and I wasn’t sure how much I would play. The time came when my number was called and I played really well, the game was just fun for me.”
With his 6’7” frame it’s easy for Walton to stand out on the field but it’s his ability that has college coaches intrigued. Once the season ended he drew more and more interest and started to receive more personal contact from college coaches. One of those coaches was NC State’s Head Coach Dave Doeren who saw enough of Walton to give him his first offer.
“It was a big surprise,” claims Walton. “I went to their junior day and they told me they were very interested. The next day, which was actually my birthday, my high school coach called me into his office and that’s when NC State offered.”
Walton couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift. He went from a kid who was planning on swimming in college to landing a division 1 offer to play football.
“I knew playing college football was a long shot but knowing that it’s coming real, it’s actually very surreal right now,” says Walton.
NC State isn’t the only school with Walton on their radar. Other schools that are showing interest in him right now are Clemson, Duke, Elon and UNC Charlotte. A lot of coaches like his potential and even Walton admits he is a work in progress.
“Coaches have told me they want me to put on about 15 to 20 pounds and see more playing time at offensive tackle,” said Walton. “I like defense a lot because I can hit people but coaches want to recruit me as an o-lineman because of my frame. I’m in a learning process right now but I know I can be molded into whatever type of player they want me to be.”
Walton is slated to start at offensive tackle this upcoming season and he has been working hard on polishing his skills. Last summer he came to Camp Lineman as an intriguing prospect and says that a lot of what he learned from the camp helped him last season and still helping him today.
“It was a chance for me to learn more fundamentals and become a better player,” said Walton. “I took a lot away from the coaches on both sides of the ball and overall it was a really big technical help for me.”
Walton also took away how hard you have to work to play at the next level. Not only do you have to shine on the football field but you also need to excel in the classroom. Currently, Walton holds a 4.1 GPA, takes 3 AP classes and wants to major in agriculture and history. He also just spent a week at Harvard University for the Harvard Model Congress, which provides high school students from across the country and abroad with an opportunity to experience what it’s like to sit in Congress. Needless to say Walton is a well-rounded student athlete and whoever recruits him is getting a diamond in the rough.
“I’m just having fun playing football and I trust that my hard work will pay off,” says Walton. “I want coaches to know that I’m a smart player who’s not going to give up on what I set out to achieve.”
Author: Terry Schilling