Not too long after, that feeling turned into a commitment, as the 5-foot-9, 160-pound athlete gave his verbal to Arizona on Monday.
"The visit that we just took and the atmosphere of the college and way they treated me went into making the decision," Phillips said. "I also could not pass up the opportunity to stay close to home and play in front of the hometown crowd."
Phillips likes the idea of being able to compete right away, which is something that he feels the Wildcats will allow him to do.
"They say that I am a perfect fit for the inside slot and special teams," he said. "There is no promise of a starting position, but I can come in and compete."
Phillips has been able to build a strong relationship with the UA coaching staff and was impressed that each coach took the time to talk to him rather than just one specific coach.
"I have talked with all the coaches, whether it is the defensive coordinator or the wide receivers coach," he said. "My impression of them is that they are real open and exciting and they are personable.
"When I talked to the coaches it felt like I was just talking to somebody I had already known for a while even though I had not."
As far as an early decision, Phillips says it came down to simply finding the right fit and going for it.
"It wasn't necessarily a time thing, but just the school I wanted to go to," he said. "The visit made me want to go there and be able to focus on my senior year and finish strong."