Philip Bangura is one of the best players from the Orlando, FL area in the Class of 2020.
The 5-foot-9, 158-pound Bangura, who attends Gateway High School, is a dynamic athlete that plays on both sides of the ball as a running back, wide receiver, cornerback and safety.
Bangura has an impressive list of recognition and accomplishments, such as winning team MVP for Gateway as he finished first in the district in rushing, scoring,and touchdowns while being second in receiving.
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Bangura is humbled for the opportunity to showcase his skills and get recognized.
“It means that all my hard work and dedication to not only football and academics will pay off,” Bangura said. “Overall it was a great experience and I learned even through my successes I have a lot of work to do to become a even better player and teammate.”
No matter the opponent, on each snap Bangura is determined to give it his all.
Bangura is going all out.
The motor is always at full throttle whenever Bangura steps between the lines.
“My mindset is at each position I’m at is to give 100 percent effort,” Bangura said. “I want to execute as perfectly as possible and put pressure on my opponent.”
Bangura has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the gridiron. Bangura tells why he enjoys the game of football so much.
“I love so many things about football,” Bangura said. “I love how we really have to depend on each other to play. The look on my teammates’ faces when we play is the best feeling in the world.”
Bangura has learned many valuable lessons from playing football that he applies to his everyday life.
The main one is applying perspective to all situations.
“Football has taught me so much,” Bangura said. “It has taught me that even if you do everything right you can still lose but you have to suit up and get back out there.”
Bangura recalls his favorite football memory.
“A special moment was going to first round of playoffs because it is the second time in school history it has been done,” Bangura said. “It made me feel great to be a part of that.”
Marlin Roberts is in his third year coaching Bangura.
Roberts explains the best parts of Bangura’s game.
“At defensive back and running back he’s very fast and elusive. On both sides of the ball he’s very quick and shifty. He has a real knack for making plays and impacting the game with his aggressiveness,” Roberts said. “He’s a very skillful player that is extremely explosive.”
Bangura takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Bangura makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.
“I try to be a good teammate developing a relationship with my teammates on and off the field,” Bangura said. “That allows me to be more than just a teammate but a friend also. I tell my teammates to never give up, don’t force it and let your game come to you.”
Roberts adds that Bangura is a consummate teammate that every locker room needs.
“He is definitely one of those kids that leads by example,” Roberts said. “He doesn’t have to say much to get respect from his peers. They follow him because they see how much he cares about the game.”
Bangura is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.
“My coaches help make me a better player both on and off the field,” Bangura said. “I’ve learned it’s not about me. It’s about the team. That applies to life itself. The best advice they gave me was never lose focus and that losing games and failure are what make you better.”
Roberts recalls an example of Bangura’s capabilities.
“He was a big reason we won a game that we needed to win to get in the playoffs,” Roberts said. “He did this through a kick return, fumble recovery, and running touchdowns in that game.”
In addition to making clutch plays, Bangura also has a high level of football IQ as well.
Bangura has excellent football awareness that puts him in position to thrive.
“He just knows the game very well,” Roberts said. “He’s a very intelligent player that is always thinking a step ahead of the competition.”
Bangura is on the grind to perfect and hone his craft.
“He has a great work ethic and runs track as a means to get faster,” Roberts said. “His dedication is tireless and he never settles. He truly wants to be the best he can be.”
Roberts explains why he compares Bangura to this future Hall of Fame running back.
“He reminds me a lot of Adrian Peterson,” Roberts said. “Just like him, he’s a bully at the running back position. He can shed tackles and make people miss in the open field.”
Meanwhile, Bangura patterns his style of play after this soon to be drafted running back out of Penn State.
“I look up to Saquon Barkley,” Bangura said. “He does everything. He runs hard plus he’s quick and fast.”
Bangura is constantly striving for greatness in everything that he does.
“My goals are to make everyone around me better and the best they can be,” Bangura said. “I want to make my family proud of me in all that I do as a player and person.”
Bangura lists math as his favorite subject because “it’s easy and I understand it well.”
Before the pros, Bangura dreams of one day becoming the next great player at Oregon.
“I like the Oregon Ducks because they have a fast tempo offense and i feel like I can fit into that scheme,” Bangura said.
Roberts believes the sky is the limit as long as Bangura continues to stay hungry.
“I think he has excellent potential to accomplish all of his dreams not only in football but in life,” Roberts said. “He’s a terrific kid that has his head on his shoulders. I look forward to witnessing him have plenty of success.”
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