"I like the people and the fact that I have family down there," Phillips said. "Everyone [at UNC] is focused on football. Everyone seems like good people.
"Like with the coaches, you don't have people that say ‘Oh, just come to our school because we're going to make you great.' [UNC] has good people and they show you what they're going to do to make you better."
Phillips, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound wide receiver from Wayne (N.J.) DePaul, will unveil the other four finalists publicly once he informs all 24 scholarship offering schools of his intentions.
Arizona, Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Duke, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin are among the schools that have offered Phillips.
Phillips' goal is to make a verbal commitment before his senior football season begins in September. If he's unable to come up with a decision by then, he'll take his recruitment into the season and take at least a few official visits.
Last week, Phillips made a trip to the state of North Carolina to spend time with family and also visit UNC. He arrived in North Carolina on Wednesday and remained in town until Sunday, staying with family in Durham.
Phillips spent all day Thursday visiting UNC.
"It went well," Phillips said. "I really liked the place. Everything was nice. The coaches were great. I saw a couple of players, they seemed like good people. I liked it overall."
While on campus, Phillips received plenty of attention from UNC's coaching staff. He spent a great deal of time with Allen Mogridge, his primary recruiter, and had conversations with Charlie Williams, UNC's wide receivers coach, John Blake, UNC's recruiting coordinator, and John Shoop, UNC's offensive coordinator.
"They were telling me about the place and how the school works – the football part and then the academic part," Phillips said.
During his visit, Phillips toured the campus and received an in-depth look at the football facilities.
"It was beautiful – everything was," Phillips said. "Every building was brick – I liked that."
Additionally, Phillips watched a Shoop-led film session.
"We were just looking at plays," Phillips said. "[They were showing me] the receivers' routes, the different route combinations they run, how their receivers catch the ball – looking the ball in, catching at the highest point. They were showing a couple game films of screens and how the receivers are blocking."
Before leaving UNC, Phillips met with Butch Davis for roughly 30 minutes.
"He was just asking what are going to be the determining factors in me picking a school," Phillips said. "He was saying why [I should choose] North Carolina."
Phillips is rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com and ranked the No. 12 wide receiver in the nation.
He won a starting spot in DePaul's receiving corps as a sophomore, ending that season with 22 receptions for 386 yards and four touchdowns. Last season, Phillips' role was expanded. He not only was a receiving target (40 catches, 765 yards, 10 touchdowns), but also took 22 handoffs for 289 yards and a score, and returned kickoffs, averaging over 26 yards a return.