"That was big for me," Phillips says. "It was closer to home for me to be able to go to Auburn. They had told me to wait things out. I just waited and waited to get the offer and I got it and took it.
"I got the offer right before my football banquet," he adds. "Coach (Gus) Malzahn called me.
Recently Phillips finally got around to doing something most prospects take for granted in the recruiting process. Familiar with several Auburn assistants including coaches Tommy Thigpen, Phillip Lolley and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, Phillips took a visit to the Plains for the first time to meet the rest of the guys he'll be playing for in the coming years.
"I had to go down and meet the coaches and get a feel for them," the 6-1, 285 Phillips says. "It was big for me to go down there and meet with them. They filled me in on my position and everything. I met some of them for the first time. I had met Coach (Tommy) Thigpen, Coach (Phillip) Lolley and Coach Malzahn."
Rushing for more than 4,000 yards in his career at Handley, including 1,145 and 16 touchdowns on just 141 carries as a senior, Phillips doesn't look like the typical running back. Actually he looks more like a noseguard than a back, but that physical style of play is something Auburn is looking for on offense and he says the coaches think he could deliver that when he arrives on campus in June to get accustomed to his role.
"It's like a short yardage back," Phillips says. "They said once they see that I can tote the ball then they're going to let me tote the ball a lot. It's very exciting. I love to tote the ball.
"I love it," Phillips adds. "They said I could probably come in and play early and that they needed me. I just have to be in shape. They're just talking running back right now. You can't tell what the future holds."