Recruit A Man Among The Boys

This Louisiana product has the Tigers in his final three.

Winnfield, La--Sometimes the word big is thrown around without really getting the point across. When the word big is used to describe offensive lineman Jemayel Phillips it's just one of those cases.

At 6-6 ¼, 325 pounds, Phillips is a man among boys on the high school level and with a personal best 40-yard dash time of 5.12 seconds, it's easy to see why he's considered one of the top offensive linemen in the country this year. He has been recruited by many colleges, but has only considered a few.

College coaches have beaten a path to Winnfield to see the monstrous Phillips in action. One of the schools that has given him the most attention is Auburn. Looking to replace three starters on the offensive front, the Tigers have given special attention to Phillips and it hasn't fallen on deaf ears as he is scheduled to travel to the Plains this weekend for an official visit.

"Yes, I am visiting this weekend--I just like my recruiter from there, Coach (Phillip) Lolley," he tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "He always shoots it straight with me. I always talk to him and it's nice for him to come visit me. It's worth just shooting down there to see what it's like."

While Auburn is squarely in the hunt for Phillips, he notes that Louisiana Tech and coach Jack Bicknell are the leaders for his services at the moment. With childhood friend Freddie King playing wide receiver for the Bulldogs, Phillips says Tech is the team to beat at the moment.

"Louisiana Tech is my leader right now," he notes. "The closeness to home and the family atmosphere the team has is good. I'll be up there with Freddie. We grew up in the same place together and it would be good to play with somebody I played in high school with, too."

Also considering LSU, which has been heavily pursuing him, Phillips says that he's been to Baton Rouge several times and knows what to expect from the Bengal Tigers. "I like it down there and I like their offensive line coach."

A two-year starter for Winnfield High, Phillips didn't begin playing football until junior high school but now "loves it with all his heart". An outstanding athlete for someone his size, Phillips also throws the shot put for Winnfield. Admitting he needs to work on his strength, the big guy still manages to bench press 325 pounds three times and squats 500 pounds.

Tiger Ticket Extra: A perfectionist on the football field, Phillips says his team doesn't keep offensive line statistics such as grades and pancake blocks, but he says he had a good senior season. Leading his team to a 10-2 record and a berth in the second round of the playoffs, he says his strong points as a player should serve him well when he moves to the next level. "I run well, I can pass block, I can run block and I've got quick feet." For someone with his size, those are attributes that will serve him well indeed for the lucky school that gets his signature in February...Nebraska has also been recruiting him, but the Cornhuskers look to be out of this recruiting race...Auburn offensive line coach Hugh Nall has also traveled to Winnfield to check out the big lineman.

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