Bearcats running back Keenan Phillips de-commits from JMU

Published 11:04 am Monday, December 4, 2023

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Bainbridge High School senior running back Keenan Phillips announced his verbal de-commitment from James Madison University. 

The decision comes days after the resignation of JMU head football coach Curt Cignetti. Phillips credits the uncertainty of a regime change as part of his decision.

“It’s still love for JMU,” Phillips said. “As of now, it’s just take a step back and reevaluate my offers.”

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Phillips said he is using his time to contact coaches of teams he’s already worked with. Proximity is a priority for Phillips, and he said he’s focusing on schools closer to Bainbridge. 

A recommitment to JMU is still on the table for the three-star recruit, but he said he wants to explore his options.

Phillips announced his decommitment from James Madison Monday morning in a social media post.

“I would like to thank coach Cignetti and JMU for offering the opportunity for me to continue my football career,” Phillips said in the post. “But after much thought and prayers with family and due to recent coaching situations, I have decided to de-commit from James Madison and reopen my recruitment!”

James Madison Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne announced Thursday, Nov. 30th that Cignetti will “depart” from the university after accepting another head coaching job at Indiana.

“I want to thank Curt Cignetti for his dedication and commitment to excellence as head football coach at James Madison,” Bourne said. “He successfully steered JMU football through a critical period in our history. With our reclassification period now complete, James Madison is firmly established as one of the top Group of Five programs in the country and an ideal destination as we head into a 12-team playoff era.”

Phillips verbally committed to the Dukes on Sept. 12, 2023.