Jacob Phillips has become one of the hottest linebacker prospects in the country. The 6-foot-3, 223-pound defender has been a focal point for Ole Miss' 2017 class since Jacob was a sophomore.
"They were my first SEC offer," Phillips said. "It means a lot. It means they saw my talent before anyone else did. They took a chance. It's always hard to get your first SEC offer. They were the first ones to offer me. That's what makes Ole Miss standout."
The 1st Team All-State selection has also built a good bond with the person in charge of his recruitment for the Rebels.
"I have a great relationship with coach (Maurice) Harris. He's a very good spokesman for Ole Miss and just how things are in Oxford. I feel very comfortable being around him and coming there because he's there."
What stands out about Ole Miss right now?
"Mostly the environment it is in. It's in a college town. You don't have to worry about too many distractions and the people around there are really nice. I have been down there twice before this trip. I met some people and when they see me they always make me feel at home. It's SEC football and it's a program that has been on the rise for a while now."
What did he want to get out of the most recent trip to Ole Miss?
"I just wanted to meet more people and see the facility a little bit more. I always come on game day so there are a couple things I didn't get to see as much. I want to see the total package today."
Have any leaders emerged?
"Yes sir but I can't say. I will say that Ole Miss is amongst my top three."
The Rebels have a need at linebacker as they fell short on their goals in the past two classes. That hasn't gone unnoticed.
"That's definitely one thing in my recruitment that is important to me. I want to be in the rotation my freshman year. I want to try and get in and learn as much as I can. I know Ole Miss is in need of some mike linebackers and it's very possible for me to be a guy who can jump right in their rotation. I love their landshark defense too. It's a bunch of people flying around and getting to the ball."
The Vols have done a great job under Butch Jones of keeping the instate talent at home. Is there any pressure for Jacob to follow pursuit?
"Not really. Vandy but not really Tennessee."
When will decision come and what will be the main factors?
"It will probably come in the middle of my season. I want to take my officials as early as possible and the main factor will be how I feel on those official visits."
Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org