Jaelan Phillips is one of the nation's top defensive end prospects and had a strong showing at The Opening Finals. Phillips is still getting used to playing with his hand down and rushing out of a three point stance after playing primarily linebacker the past few seasons. That's the thing with Phillips, as good as he is now, he's not even close to hitting his ceiling and his upside is off the charts.
He was chosen as one of the top five defensive linemen in the event by the Student Sports staff to take part in the 'best on best' competition Sunday and actually took a rep from tackle Foster Sarell, who was arguably the best player in this event, regardless of position.
Phillips has a great frame, measured in at 6-foot-5, 241 pounds, with plenty of room to pack on an additional 20 pounds or so. He is making a jump athletically and tested very well running a 4.65-40, threw the power ball 47' and jumped 31" in the vertical. He plays with a tremendous motor and is a high energy player and has future team captain written all over him.
Phillips committed to the UCLA Bruins back in April and remains rock solid in his decision.
I’m Amy Campbell with Scout National Recruiting Analyst, Greg Biggins, out here at The Opening, evaluating defensive end prospect, Jaelan Phillips, a newer five-star. Has he lived up to it out here on the big stage?
He has. You know, I think for me, and talking to Todd Huber, the lead OL-DL coach, he’s probably been the most impressive of all the defensive linemen. He’s big—6’5”, 230 pounds. Still kind of new, in terms of playing defense. You know, he actually played linebacker, so he’s not used to playing with his hand down. But he’s probably been the best outside pass rusher. Again, I love the length; I love the burst off the edge. Love the toughness, the quickness, the overall aggressiveness he plays with. I think he definitively is a true five-star, and he’s played like it all weekend.
How do you see him fitting in at the college level?
You know, I think he’s a guy who can come in and play early. He’s a multi-positional guy. He can play a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme. He can play that outside linebacker as a 3-4. He can play that true rush end. Again, he’s 6’5” 230, he’s gonna be 260. He has that kind of frame, and he’s incredibly strong with a great work ethic off the field. So again, I think he can play a lot of roles, and I think he can play early.