“It was pretty good,” Phillips said. “It was just about spending time on campus and things like that. I just got back from a national 7-on-7 tournament in Hoover and that was a good experience. I had to stop by because it’s not too far away. It’s just a good experience.”
Heading into his second season back at Auburn, Garner led a group that showed significant improvement in 2013 on the defensive line. A demanding but fair coach, he is someone that Phillips said he’s becoming more comfortable around every time they talk.
“It was really good getting to know him better,” Phillips said. “We’re just continuing to build that relationship. That’s always important in the recruiting process.”
With Auburn looking to sign a large class of defensive linemen in 2015, the Tigers are going to be an attractive school for top players between now and signing day in February. While the need area is just one of the considerations, Phillips said it’s more about winning and having a chance to earn some rings before his college career is done.
“They had a really good season last year,” Phillips said. “They also have a great coaching staff. When I get on the next level I’m looking forward to winning some championships. Last year they proved they have the ability to do that. That’s a big part of why I like it. It’s not too far away from home. It’s a nice campus and things like that. There are a lot of things I like about them.”
With options from across the country, Phillips said he has basically narrowed things down to a select group of schools as he prepares for his senior season.
“I pretty much have a top group,” Phillips said. “I don’t have an actual number of schools but Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee and Ole Miss are mostly the schools I’m focusing on. Unless something else pops up those are the main schools I’m focusing on right now.”
Planning on taking his five official visits during the season before making his decision, Phillips said he can’t rule out pulling the trigger on his choice earlier than expected. With so much talent and the size to compete early, he said for him it’s much more about playing for championships on the next level.
“That’s not one of the main things I look at,” Phillips said. “I feel like if you’re good enough then you’re going to play. I’m not looking for a team where I know I’m going to play early, that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for a coach that is going to develop me to be the best I can be.”