Phillips ready to commit

Patterson linebacker Lorenzo Phillips will join the LSU class this month.

With the Louisiana linebacker talent in the 2012 class as deep as ever, the LSU staff put the press on a handful of homegrown prospects and welcomed all commitments from the offers handed out.

Last month Jesuit linebacker Deion Jones flipped from Nebraska to the Tigers, giving LSU five in-state linebacker commitments in the class.

They might not be done yet.

As the new year rolls in and signing day draws closer, the staff appears close to adding a sixth linebacker from the state of Louisiana in Patterson four-star prospect Lorenzo Phillips.

“I am going to commit to LSU either before my visit on Jan. 20 or while I am there,” Phillips said. “It will definitely be this month.”

What changed for Phillips, a prospect that is now on the open market after pledges to both Texas A&M and Florida in the past year?

“A few different things went into this decision,” Phillips said. “The biggest thing was that I started talking to (LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis) a lot more. I always knew him and we had a good relationship, but recently we starting talking all the time.

“When I can, I call him every day or every couple days. He came down to my house and everything. We are now very close, and I’m positive LSU is the place for me. I get along with everyone over there, and it feels like home.”

Phillips said his parents initially pushed him to leave the state and explore life outside of Louisiana, but a love for all things purple-and-gold saw the family change its stance down the stretch.

“I just wanted to go somewhere where the coaches would take care of me, and my dad and my mom weren’t being hard on me or telling me one thing or the other, but they encouraged me to look at every option,” Phillips said. “I have always wanted to go to LSU, and they saw that, so everyone supports my decision.”

At 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, Phillips said Chavis hopes the speedy linebacker prospect can step in immediately and help replace senior Ryan Baker on the outside.

“Coach Chavis always tells me I can be a great strongside linebacker in his system,” Phillips said. “They don’t have a whole lot of depth there, either. I have that chance to work hard over the next five months and then show up at LSU and earn a spot playing early. I am weighing 200 pounds now, but I’m going to be putting on some weight over the spring to get where they want me.

“I also told Coach Chavis that I understand redshirting. He didn’t have to explain it to me. I just want to be there and be part of the team. If that’s where they see me, then let me have time to learn the plays and get bigger and add another year.”

Phillips, whose commitment would add an 11th four-star prospect to a recruiting class that already ranks fifth in the country, is counting the days until it’s time to move on to the college game.

“I wish we could sign right now,” he said. “I am just excited. I call Coach Chavis every other day. We just keep talking about it, and I tell him I can’t wait.”

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