Redlands (Calif.) East Valley defensive end Jaelan Phillips has had a great start to the recruiting process garnering scholarship offers from the likes of Stanford and Alabama.
With the new USC coaching staff finally set on area recruiting responsibilities, Phillips contact with the Trojans has also increased.
“I’ve been able to talk to the new d-line coach [Kenechi Udeze] and Gavin Morris, who’s a recruiting assistant,” said Phillips. “I’ve been talking to them a decent amount. I haven’t met any of the coaches in person yet, but I plan on getting up there for a spring practice.
“I would like to get out there just to see them practice, see how their defense is run. Even back with Coach [Peter] Sirmon was recruiting me, USC has always looked at me as sort of a hybrid guy. More of a linebacker out of the 3-4, but more of a standard defensive end in the 4-3.”
Phillips missed USC’s junior day as he already had an unofficial visit scheduled with Stanford last weekend.
“I had a great time,” said Phillips. “Their athletics and academics speak for themselves, so I expected that, but meeting Coach [David] Shaw, he’s a very genuine and amazing guy.
“I got to meet all of the coaches and see campus again. I love the place, it’s amazing.”
With scholarship offers from some of college football's elite universities both athletically and academically, Phillips is in no rush to make a decision on a commitment.
At this point the 6-foot-5, 235-pound four-star is taking his time with the process.
“I’m still open and trying to develop relationships with the coaches recruiting me,” said Phillips. “I’m still researching schools and I don’t want to burn any bridges by narrowing things too early.
“I want to be able to make the right decision for myself. Eventually I’ll narrow things down to a top 10 or something like that. I just don’t know the that will be yet.”
Although USC is a bit behind on getting to know Phillips, he does have inherent interest in the program.
“Oh I definitely have interest,” said Phillips. “The program intrigues me because of the tradition. I went to the USC-Utah game, and I had never been to a game there before.
“Just seeing the tradition the school has a good feel from a football standpoint. But it’s also a top academic institution, so they are high on my list.”