Irish offer new junior linebacker

On Thursday, Notre Dame checked on three-star linebacker Jacob Phillips. After a quick film review the Irish offered him a day later.

Jacob Phillips first spoke with Notre Dame’s coaching staff on Thursday and learned good news could be coming in the very near future.

On Friday, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound three-star linebacker from Beech High School in Hendersonville, Tenn., called Irish recruiting coordinator Mike Elston and landed his 14th scholarship offer.

“I called coach Elston and he told me,” Phillips said. “I talked to him the day before and he told me he watched my film and really liked the way I play. He said he sat down with the defensive coordinator and he loved my film also.”

Illinois, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas A&M are among the other college programs that have offered.

The Irish might not stand above the rest, but the program certainly stands out.

“That means a lot,” he said. “It’s a huge blessing and I’m pretty excited to have it. I’m looking forward to learning more about Notre Dame.

“I don’t really know much but I know it’s a very prestigious school. I know they have a linebacker graduating now that was a heck of a linebacker and they’re notorious for having good linebackers.”

Elston invited Phillips to Junior Day on March 19 and he hopes to work that into his spring travel.

The Irish offer puts Notre Dame into some elite company but Phillips isn’t quite ready to release his short list of favorites.

“Of course I have some favorites but none I want to announce right now,” he said.

Phillips attended East Nashville High School as a sophomore then transferred to Beech, where as a junior he recorded 122 tackles, including 10 for a loss, and 3 ½ sacks.

He credits his size and speed for much of his success.

“From what I hear from the coaches I have good feet and good size and I get downfield fast,” he said. “I have good closing speed too from what the coaches tell me about my film.”

Phillips’ older brother, Josh, plays basketball at Middle Tennessee State. Phillips also played basketball through his sophomore season.

“This year my dad wanted me to stick to football,” he said.

First Impressions: On film, Phillips could easily draw comparisons to former Irish linebacker Anthony Denman. He attacks the ball carrier with a purpose and seems to always put himself in the proper position to make the stop. His tackle at the 1:14 mark demonstrates the strength he possesses. Missing from the film is an indication he has elite linebacker speed but that’s not saying he doesn’t have it, he just didn’t need it in making 122 tackles.

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