Three-star linebacker Jacob Phillips made his first visit to Notre Dame last weekend for Junior Day and he left South Bend with a positive impression of the school and its football program.
“I had a really good visit,” said Phillips, a 6-foot-3, 230-pounder from Hendersonville, Tenn. “I was very impressed. Everything was very real and very eye-opening. The campus was a lot different, the whole feel for it. It's a very prestigious university. It's different but I liked it.”
According to Phillips, one of the most unique aspects of what Notre Dame offers is the ability to play any of the linebacker positions.
“It was eye-opening just talking to the coaches,” he said. “There aren't many schools that are running a 4-3 that are recruiting me. They run a 4-3 and they think that I can play all three linebacker positions. I could definitely see the field faster if I can play all three of them. I like that. I just want to make an impact for the team.”
Phillips knew a few details about the Irish football program before the visit but he learned a lot more about how he would fit into the defense and Notre Dame football family.
“The coaches told you exactly how it is there and exactly what they want and why they want me and the things they think I can do,” he said. “All of them are up front about everything. I feel like watching them coach during practice and film, I feel like I'll be comfortable being coached by them. I know that they have a lot of experience making linebackers great with the Butkus Award winner I know they had last year. I want to be great so being coached by them I feel that I could have similar success.”
The Irish fortified their position on Phillips’ short list and later this summer they’ll have a better idea if they’re among the favorites to land him. Other offers on the table include Auburn, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
“Right now I'm just very blessed and humbled to be going through this experience of the recruiting process,” Phillips said. “I don't have a for sure favorite but I definitely have some schools that I'm highly interested in, ones that have broken away from the pack and Notre Dame is definitely one of them.”
Phillips will visit Oklahoma on Tuesday and he hopes to see a few more schools this spring.