The four-star DE/OLB on Stanford Junior Day, "Getting Open" and newest offers

The only way Jaelan Phillips could have had a better week was if he won an Oscar too.

There are productive weeks…and then there are weeks Jaelan Phillips has had.

The four-star defensive end/outside linebacker from Redlands, CA notched offers from Alabama, Michigan, Texas A&M, Louisville, Vanderbilt and San Jose State just this week. 

Pretty good right?

Phillips also spent his time this weekend at Stanford’s Junior Day, taking in what the program can offer. After getting home around 11 p.m. Saturday night, Phillips turned around and participated in The Opening’s Los Angeles regional event 

And he got “Open”.

Phillips wasn’t sure whether to play along the line or as a linebacker but eventually decided to go in as a defensive end.

“I guess it was the right choice”, the four-star recruit said. 

By the end of the day, he had an invite to participate in The Opening final in Oregon this summer.

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“It’s truly an honor and a blessing to be able to be exhausted like this, to be able to have a full week at my back,” Phillips said. “Most people don’t have that opportunity.” 

Before this week that brought a flood of offers, Phillips said the front-runners at the time were Stanford and UCLA. Even with the recent offers from some of the best programs in the nation, the Cardinal and the Bruins are very much in play.

“(The new offers) definitely allowed me to open up my eyes in a sense…being able to broaden my interest in terms of geographical location,” Phillips said. “I’m starting to get more interest from the east coast so that’s really interesting, but UCLA and Stanford are definitely still top-runners. 

So what does Phillips like about the Cardinal?

“I love the coaches, and the campus is awesome. Getting to get there and experience that first-hand and hang out with the players a lot, spend time watching practice and sitting in on meetings, it was a definitely a positive trip. I loved everything about it.”

Junior Day only helped those feelings solidify. Phillips and the other participants sat in on academic presentations, stadium tours, practice and they were able to speak with coaches and professors about life at Stanford.

“If anything, it kind of got re-affirmed because I expected that going up. I knew the academics were going to be sensational,” Phllips said.

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The 6-foot-5, 230-pound edge rush can play both defensive end and linebacker. He has size, he has speed and is built similarly to one Trent Murphy when the current Washington Redskin was a freshman at Stanford (6-foot-6, 233 pounds). Seeing the success of the Cardinal’s front seven makes them an intriguing choice for Phillips.

“The proof (is in) the pudding. The fact that the outside linebackers and (defensive) line strive at Stanford with the way Coach Anderson runs the program and the defensive scheme here with Trent Murphy and other guys, that is what I see myself playing. So it’s definitely cool to see the product of how amazing Stanford is.”

The red-hot Phillips is sure to add more offers, especially after a strong showing at The Opening Los Angeles. He says this weekend improved him as a pass rusher, going up against the best offensive lineman in the country including Stanford target Wyatt Davis. 

Phillips said he doesn’t have a timetable on when he will make his decision. He wants to take as many unofficial visits as possible to experience what each program can offer and make sure the time is right for him. 

Currently, he said the front-runners for his pledge are Stanford, UCLA, Notre Dame, Michigan, Washington and Alabama. He plans to provide a “top ten-ish” in the near future to narrow down his decision.

It seems like whatever team receives his commitment will have a week similar to that of the one Phillips just experienced. 


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