Timeout with… senior defensive back Phillip Parham


Phillip Parham by the quad (Photo by Dilge Dilsiz ‘ 19)

This week The Lafayette sits down with the Leopards’ leader in interceptions, defensive back Phillip Parham.

Julia Owens: The Leopards have yielded a total of 17 points over their two Patriot League wins. How have you and your unit contained the two opposing teams’ offenses?

Phillip Parham: I think we just did a really good job of executing [assistant coach Luke] Thompson’s defensive game. We just keyed in our key, we all did our jobs and we came out on top.

JO: You recorded your fourth interception of the season during the win against Fordham at a critical time. What did you see on that play to get the right positioning?

PP: I was in cover three so I was over top and I [saw] the receiver break on the post so I was on top of that. Then I [saw] the quarterback throw the ball and the receiver broke on a different route. I don’t think the quarterback and the receiver were on the same page, but I [saw] the ball so I just went and got it.

JO: Your teammate, sophomore Eric Mitchell, says you’re a great mentor. What advice will you give to the next leader of the defensive backs?

PP: The only advice I can really give is to be yourself. Don’t try to be Superman. Just be the best player you can possibly be and you’ll beat them that way.

JO: Who was your mentor when you first started with the team?

PP: Probably Matt Smalley and Jay Roberts. Jay Roberts was a senior at the time and Smalley was a junior so I looked up to both of them when I first got here.

JO: How has the team evolved since your freshman season?

PP: I think that we’ve become…more of a tight-knit group so we can really depend on each other when we’re in a dire time. You know, we’ve had a couple bad seasons, but we all stuck together through thick and thin, and now we’re here and trying to make the last season worth it.

JO: What is one memory you will always have from being on the team?

PP: One memory I’ll always have is probably just every Laf-Lehigh game. It’s the big game of the year, last game of the season every year. [It’s] just a big rivalry atmosphere, anything can happen.

JO: When did you first get into football?

PP: When I was around six years old, my dad asked me if I wanted to play. I just said yeah, so when it was time – I think peewee started at seven or eight – so when I turned seven or eight, he just brought me to the team and I started playing. I’ve been playing ever since.

JO: Do you have a favorite pro-team?

PP: My favorite pro-team would be the Lions because I’m from Detroit, but if I had to pick a second it would be the Steelers because that was the name of my Little League team growing up.

JO: Do you have a favorite pre-game ritual?

PP: I just like to get on the field about a half hour to an hour before game time and get warmed up, do a couple drills, listen to my music.

JO: What other sports do you like to play and watch besides football?

PP: Basketball. I play a lot of [NBA] 2K.

JO: What are your plans after graduation?

PP: Hopefully I get a shot at trying out for the league, but if not, I’ll try to go in to some type of finance job.

JO: What’s something we don’t know about you?

PP: I used to play bass guitar when I was younger, but then football started taking over so I had to get out of that and focus more on football.