NFL

Tyre Phillips Went From the Marching Band and ‘Last Chance U’ to Blocking for Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Tyre Phillips was likely used to the cameras and attention that comes with being on an NFL team.

Years before he debuted in the NFL, Phillips went through the microphones and spotlight while at East Mississippi Community College. It was during his time there that Last Chance U, the Netflix docu-series, was filming the ongoings of the Lions’ football team.

Reaching the NFL after attending junior college is one thing. But before he focused full-time on playing football, Phillips played the trumpet in his high school’s marching band.

Tyre Phillips started for the Baltimore Ravens last year

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The Baltimore Ravens needed a young body on the offensive line to develop after Marshal Yanda’s retirement, and they chose Tyre Phillips.

A starting offensive tackle at Mississippi State, Phillips entered the NFL as a third-round selection in 2020’s NFL draft. Phillips played in 12 games last season and started eight games, primarily at right guard.

The rookie also started both playoff games at right tackle.

Phillips was inconsistent as a rookie, but he may have a long-term future on the Ravens’ offensive line. Ravens left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. requested a trade this offseason, and All-Pro tackle Ronnie Stanley is coming off a severe ankle injury.

Phillips went from the marching band to ‘Last Chance U’

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The first two seasons of Netflix’s Last Chance U focused around East Mississippi Community College, a junior college powerhouse. 

The likes of Dakota Allen, John Franklin III, and Tim Bonner became household names for their time at EMCC, as did head football coach Buddy Stephens and academic advisor Brittany Wagner.

It became easy for players like Tyre Phillips to slide under the radar a bit. Phillips enrolled at EMCC and earned All-MACJC honors during the 2016 season.

The second season of Last Chance U took place during the 2016 campaign. Quarterback De’Andre Johnson led the Tigers to an 11-1 record.

Phillips signed with Mississippi State after the season and played there from 2017-19.

Tyre Phillips isn’t the only ‘Last Chance U’ alum in the NFL

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Tyre Phillips originally spent his Fridays at high school football games, but not in a football uniform.

Phillips played the trumpet in his high school’s marching band during his junior year. He originally played football but quit after his freshman year at Grenada (Miss.) High School.

In a 2020 interview with the Clarion-Ledger (Miss.), Phillips recalled an assistant basketball coach telling him to try out for football. Phillips played basketball in the winter because its schedule didn’t conflict with that of the marching band.

Only a year after returning to football, Phillips signed with East Mississippi Community College out of high school. Head coach Buddy Stephens told the Clarion-Ledger in 2020 why he took a chance on a player who spent part of high school football games playing music.

“The effort was there. And there was a lot of ‘want to.’ As an offensive lineman, when you’re that big of a kid, effort and ‘want to’ are the things you’ve got to have.”

That effort took Phillips all the way to the NFL, where he spent his rookie season blocking for Lamar Jackson. Now, the ex-trumpet player has a chance to stick around in the NFL as a mauling tackle on a rising AFC powerhouse.

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