Where are they now?

by Josh Worden Senior Beat Reporter

— Michael Philipp: Football offensive lineman, 2009-2013

At OSU: Philipp arrived at OSU as a highly touted, four-star offensive line prospect standing at 6-foot-4, 329 pounds. He quickly lived up to the billing, earning Freshman All-American honors in 2009; he also earned Second Team All-Pac-10 honors in 2010 despite enduring two separate ankle injuries and a broken nose. He missed the 2011 season with a knee injury before finishing out his final two years with the Beavers by starting 26 consecutive games at left tackle. His 48 career starts ranks him third in OSU history at any position.

After OSU: After finishing his career at OSU with a win in the Hawaii Bowl in 2013, Philipp went undrafted the following April. He signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins and bounced around the NFL thereafter, spending his only season in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers. Once his playing opportunities had been exhausted, he went straight to where he knew he ultimately wanted to end up: coaching.

His head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coaches at OSU — Mike Riley, Danny Langsdorf and Mike Cavanaugh, respectively — had all gone to Nebraska after Philipp graduated, and Philipp reached out to his old coaches looking for a position on Nebraska’s staff. Riley hired the San Bernardino, Calif. native in February 2015 as a graduate manager, and Philipp has worked with the offensive line under Cavanaugh ever since.

“I really enjoy it,” Phillip said, whose older brother Mark is the Head Football Strength Coach at Nebraska. “I learn so much on the coach’s side. It’s exciting to keep learning about a sport that you love.”

Looking back on his playing career, Philipp has no regrets about his time in the NFL being short-lived. He may have only played one season, but his aspirations were never based on the number of years he played professional football.

“I wouldn’t say it was difficult. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” he said. “It was just a fun, learning experience. I was a part of three different teams, so I got to be a part of three different offensive schemes and have three different offensive line coaches and their philosophies. As far as stability, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I was ready for whatever happened. I went into the whole deal not expecting anything.”

It helps that Philipp is passionate about coaching and has known for years what he wanted once his playing days ended. There aren’t many significant developments in his life recently — no marriage or kids, for instance — but he’s happy with his current stage of life.

“It’s just all football, to be honest,” he said.

He isn’t sure how long he’ll stay with the Cornhuskers but expects to stay with Nebraska at least for the upcoming season. Regardless, he hopes to stay in coaching for the long term, eventually as a program’s offensive line coach.

Not only is Philipp finally experiencing the side of football he always expected to pursue once he stopped playing, he gets to do it alongside the men like Mike Riley that coached him in Corvallis.

“Coach Riley is a good person. He’s just a genuine guy,” Philipp said. “I chose Oregon State because the coaches are so genuine, and when my career is done, they’re still looking out for me. I’ve got a lot of respect for all these coaches.”