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Player Spotlight: WR/S Phil Garland, ‘You Must Be Willing to Take the Extra Step Before It Happens’

The class of 2024 prospect has put in hard work during the 7v7 season. And for Phil Garland’s efforts on and off the field, Garland has been recognized as the student-athlete spotlight for SMSB.

Garland is an 11th grader who attends Detroit Edison Academy (DEPSA), where he has maintained a minimum 4.1 GPA throughout the school year. Garland is a remarkable baritone player and gifted artist. He plays football, runs track with his school, and plays WR and Safety for the Elite Supermax 100 traveling team. 

The 5’11, 170 lb athlete is fearless in finding an opening for a catch. Garland has good speed, great hands, and the ability to run great routes. His playmaking skills match his high football IQ. 

What do people underestimate about you?

Garland: “How quick I am. I can get from Point A to Point B pretty fast.”

What has been your biggest challenge in football?

Garland: “Physical exhaustion from long daily practices, but I’ve built mental toughness.” 

What are your greatest strengths?

Garland: “How smart I am. I see everything better than everyone. I don’t think there’s ever been a point where I wasn’t the smartest player on the field.”

What is the best advice you’ve gotten?

Garland: “Coach Blackwell says, ‘The will to prepare has to be greater than the will to succeed.’ Whatever you’re doing, you have to prepare for it. You must be willing to take the extra step before it happens.”

What is your most significant take away from being a part of the SMSB program?

Garland: “The SMSB program doesn’t only care about football. Although it’s the main thing that attracts everyone, it’s more than football. It’s about life skills and helps you become a better young man at the same time.”

What is the most memorable part of your life so far?

Garland: “It’s either when my mom told me she graduated college. She had been working and doing school at the same time. Or, a couple of weeks ago, I got my first offer from Madonna University.”

Over the next five years, what can we expect from Phil?

Garland: “First, you’ll hear about me on June 28 at the 7v7 and throughout the season. Then you’ll hear about me playing football at the collegiate level; if not the NFL, I will have my something. Next year, you’ll see me returning to SMSB, helping them, and volunteering at their camps. I want to give back and start my own thing.”

IG: philgarl4

Twitter: philgarlandiv

Hudl: Phil Garland

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