On December 6, 2013 Wide Receiver Da’Vante Phillips took the field for Miami Central High School.
It was a matchup between the number one and number two ranked teams in the nation, and part of the spotlight was focused on the ESPN 300 receiver.
Despite the fact that Phillips was praised on that pressure packed night at Nathaniel “Traz” Powell Stadium, the star receiver’s road to Division 1 football was anything but glorious.
Philips grew up in Liberty City, arguably one of the toughest neighborhoods in the nation.
And on January 7, 2013 his life changed forever.
He suffered a tragic loss when his mother was shot and murdered in a drive-by shooting. Even with this horrible event, Phillips was able to over come it, with a little help along the way.
His Miami Central teammate and “brother” Dalvin Cook took him in, where he lived with his grandmother. Betty Cook took Phillips in like her own even when she was already taking care of her grandson Cook, her son Anthony Jones, and another Miami Central teammate Tavius Brown. Even with four high school football players to take care of all by herself Betty Cook still managed to make sure all of them has food on their plates for every meal. That love and care helped her children excel on the field. Living with his friends that he already considered family helped Phillips cope tremendously. “You know my mom died so they stepped in for me,” Phillips said of Jones and Dalvin Cook.
Dalvin Cook graduated from Miami Central in 2014, and is playing football at Florida State University. Little did he know that only one year later, his “brother” Da’Vante Phillips would join him to play along side him once more. It was always in Phillips’ plans to follow in the footsteps of Dalvin Cook. “I really love you and I start on this exact day of your death,” said Phillips on Twitter as he began his first semester at Florida State, on the two year Anniversary of his mother’s death providing him with a positive moment to help ease one of the most painful memories of his life.
This weekend FSU will play against the Wake Forest Demons whom which have lost to the Seminole the last two years and it will probably be a third straight year as the two Miami Central teammates take the field together again against the ACC opponent.
Game Prediction for FSU vs. Wake Forest: the FSU offense will have a great game. Dalvin Cook will have over a 150 all purpose yards. The FSU defense will shut down the Wake Forest offense as they have done very well in last few games and should continue against this opponent.
Final Prediction: Florida State 28 Wake Forest 7