2018 NFL Draft Interview: Anthony Philynaw, Howard University

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Image via: Cover 2 Draft

Justin David Kish: Thank you so much for your time Anthony, can you please tell us about yourself?

Anthony Philyaw: I’m a 6’’0, 200-pound running back from Gardena, CA. I grew up in a single parent household until I was in my early teens. I’ve always had a strong mother and support system within my family. They keep me on track and motivate me to continue to work hard. I’m a lefty who enjoys playing football and Call of Duty. I like cars and driving. Above all else, I am very family oriented.

Justin David Kish: You played your college career at Howard University, tell us about your time with the team?

Anthony Philyaw: My time with Howard has been awesome. It’s been a blessing trying to chase my dream of playing professional football but with that, of course, brings trials and tribulations that have brought me to adversity but my strong faith has definitely seen me through. My time spent with the team also allowed me to connect with people from different backgrounds. I think we have one of the most diverse teams in college football. A lot of people tend to label HBCU’s, however, the diversity within our culture is unmatched. 

Justin David Kish: During your time at Howard you played under head coach Gary Harrell. What did you learn learning under Coach Harrell and how has his teachings improved you as a player? 

Anthony Philyaw: Coach Harrell, “Coach Flea” as we call him, created a culture that helped mold and set certain standards for our program that my teammates and I were able to pass onto the guys who came in after us. Despite our past losing season, the structure Flea laid out for us was influential in establishing our current foundation, which lead to a winning season. His teachings showed me how to always come ready to compete despite everything else that may be going on around me, and how to just get the work done.

Justin David Kish: During your career at Howard you played against Morgan State, Norfolk State, and Monmouth annually. What was one team that really took you to your limits and how did you fare?

Anthony Philyaw: I would say Monmouth definitely presented me with the opportunity to showcase my ability to run the numbers up. As far as pushing me to my limit, Monmouth allowed me to set the bar high with 281 rushing yards, but every game I set out to push my own limits and exceed what I’ve done in previous games.

Justin David Kish: Being a running back you played against some of the best defensive players the FCS has to offer. Who were some players that really challenged you and how did you fare against them?

Anthony Philyaw: Maryland and Rutgers would be the two teams whose defenses presented a challenge and despite the losses, as a team, we broke certain barriers people weren’t expecting us to break. I led all rushers against Rutgers with 112 yards and not too many backs can say they’ve done that against an FBS opponent.

Justin David Kish: You shared a lot of great memories with your brothers on the field at Howard. What is one memory that stands out from the rest?

Anthony Philyaw: My greatest memory is definitely having a winning season my last year playing at Howard and of course causing the biggest upset in college football history after defeating UNLV.

Justin David Kish: What does it mean to be a Howard Bison?

Anthony Philyaw: To be a Bison means to be a stand-up man, to take care of your responsibilities, and to go to class.

Justin David Kish: Let’s shift our focus to the 2018 NFL Draft, how are you currently preparing yourself for the draft and any future opportunities?

Anthony Philyaw: Currently I am about to start training and preparing myself physically and mentally for the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m doing all things necessary to ensure that I am successful in any opportunity football may present.

Justin David Kish: How was your chemistry with your team in college?

Anthony Philyaw: My chemistry with the team was pretty good. I had a big brother-little brother type relationship with guys and everybody was held accountable within that brother like atmosphere. 

Justin David Kish: What were your on the field responsibilities in college?

Anthony Philyaw: My on the field responsibilities were to lead my team to as many victories as I could, to make sure my quarterback was protected, and as a running back my number one job was to take care of the football.

Justin David Kish: What is your preparation for gameday like?

Anthony Philyaw: Game day prep: I arrive at the field, jog around a bit to loosen up, go inside get taped and get any last minute treatment. I start warm-ups with the team, talk to my teammates and make sure their heads are where they need to be and by kickoff, I’ve established this “no let up” mindset and go out and fight with my guys for the win. 

Justin David Kish: What does a typical day look like when you have time off?

Anthony Philyaw: My typical day off includes rehabbing and watching film.

Justin David Kish: What have you learned from your past mistakes?

Anthony Philyaw:  What I’ve learned from my past mistakes is that at any moment the opportunity to play football can be taken from me. I’ve experienced having to take a year off and since then, I’ve treated playing football as a privilege, and I remain disciplined and take no opportunity within this game for granted.

Justin David Kish: In the next couple of questions I am going to put you on the spot if you could compare yourself to any current NFL running back who would you compare yourself to and why?

Anthony Philyaw: I would say I have the aggression and running style of David Johnson and I have the patience and cut ability of Le’Veon Bell. 

Justin David Kish: My final question, if I was an NFL GM why should I draft Anthony Philyaw?

Anthony Philyaw: If you were an NFL GM, I would say you should draft me because I am a hardworking and determined young man willing to put anything on the line to succeed. I can run, I can block and catch out the backfield, which makes me very versatile.

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