GRAND LEDGE, Mich. — Andy Phillips has always loved football. He spent all four years on the varsity team at Waverly High School.
“I had a great time,” Phillips said. “We never in my opinion lived up to our potential for many reasons, but the experiences under the Friday night lights, I’d never replace. It really helped grow my love of the game even more.”
And received a scholarship offer from Central Michigan University to continue his love for the game.
“Ended up going there and getting moved to offensive line during my red shirt year and ended up starting 43 consecutive games on offensive line and played for great coaches, great teammates made lifelong friends, I met my wife there,” Phillips said.
With a goal of one day going pro.
He went to pro day in hopes of being drafted by an NFL team and got a call from the Chicago Bears the weekend of the 2015 draft.
“I got a call from the Chicago Bears offensive line coach at the time, Dave Magazu, rest in peace, and he did talk to me a couple times throughout the process as well,” Phillips said. “He goes, it’s gonna be a great weekend for you and your family, you know, can’t wait to talk to you, it’s going to be very exciting.”
But when the weekend came and went, Phillips remained undrafted.
“They didn’t draft me. They didn’t offer me an undrafted contract and even that first day they didn’t even offer me a tryout,” Phillips said.
After facing that disappointment, Phillips went on to become an undrafted free agent for the Green Bay Packers. He ended up being one of their final training camp cuts.
“Spent you know four to five months there playing in all four preseason games,” Phillips said. “Unbelievable memories playing at Lambeau Field twice, playing at Gillette Stadium against New England, playing in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, unbelievable experiences getting to see some of the greatest of all time on my team, on their teams.”
After he was cut, he decided not to return to the game but instead started doing something he never thought he would.
“I’m like, listen, I have the passion. I’m gonna start writing blogs on the side,” Phillips said.
He started writing freelance blogs and eventually worked his way up to co-hosting a FOX Sports radio show.
Now, he writes for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and has decided to go out on his own to write a book about the NFL draft experience.
“It’s called Round Zero,” Phillips said. “Basically everything that takes place before the first round. So, a lot of things people don’t know.”
Phillips combines stories from players like Aaron Rogers and Brett Favre along with coaches and agents, as well as his own story.
“I thought, by getting a section of each, getting stories from a handful of people at each of those sections, I think I can really put the draft into perspective for a lot of people,” Phillips said. “It was incredible the stories that I got for the book, of stuff that I’ve never heard, and I pride myself on everything there is to know about the history of the NFL. These stories are amazing.”
Shedding light behind the scenes of a sport that he and so many others love.
“If you enjoy the sport of football, you enjoy competition and draft days and you enjoy really what makes up one of the biggest weekends of the year,” Phillips said. “If you want to know what really goes inside that and you want to just go to one place to do it, this is the book.”
Round Zero: Inside the NFL Draft is set to be released in January. You can pre-order it here.
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