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by Raj Sagar

Senior tight end John Phillips is UVa’s leading returning receiver at tight ends after pulling down 17 catches for 193 yards and two scores in 2007. A native of Warm Springs, Va., Phillips talks about spring football to He and the rest of the Cavaliers will play the annual Spring Game Saturday at 2 p.m. at Scott Stadium. Gates open at noon for the Spring Football Festival. Admission and parking are free.

Question: With Santi and Stupar gone, there is a lot of production gone. How much of a challenge is it for the tight ends to fill that void?
“We’re not really worried about the guys that left. They were a big part of this team, but this is a different team. We have to reconstruct this team, and we are going to work hard, and continue to improve in every aspect.”

Question: Would you rather catch a pass or provide the key block if both plays resulted in the same gain?
“I’d rather get a win.”

Question: What impresses you the most about this team?
“We are really trying to figure out what kind of team we are going to be. We all have to find our roles, but right now all we can do is work hard to get prepared.”

Question: Who is a player on offense that will surprise people this year?
“We have a lot of candidates for that. A lot of guys are working hard, guys on the offensive line, and the running backs especially are doing some great things. Cary Koch at the receiver position is doing a lot of great things right now.”

Question: What has been you favorite UVa football moment?
“Beating Miami down there for the last game in their stadium.”

Question: What is your favorite Coach Price phrase?
“I can’t really think of one off the top of my head. There are just too many.”

Question: Who is your favorite professional player and why?
“I like Terrell Owens. I really like his attitude. He is a real passionate and flashy player. He makes some amazing moves with the ball. Chad Johnson is also a great receiver.”

Question: Have you ever talked to Heath Miller about playing the position?
“I talked to Heath a lot when I first got here. I got a lot of good insight from him, and I also watch a lot of film of him playing when he was here.”

Question: What is your favorite season…football or hunting?
“Well they’re at the same time, so they go hand in hand.”

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