Vandy looking at Phillips

Tyler Phillips could be on the cusp of his first SEC offer after producing a big season at North Little Rock (Ark.) High School. The 6-foot-2, 208-pound linebacker spoke to VandyMania.com about his November 8th visit to Nashville and how his recruiting has evolved in recent months.

"When I started hearing more from Vanderbilt, I decided to visit the weekend they played the Florida Gators," Phillips said. "The game was pretty cool. Florida won, but Vandy held with them tight till the fourth quarter. Really, I wanted to see Nashville, see the campus, and talk more with the coaches. It spent the day doing all three and really liked it. The facilities are terrific. Everything is nice and new. The coaches were all excited I was there and seemed like really nice guys. You know, they told me that they're very interested. They are bringing in two linebackers in this particular class and said they will see what they can do about bringing in one more. I'm hoping they're be able to work something out with the scholarship offer. It's a program on the rise up. I'm just gonna stay patient and see what happens."

Phillips has been offered by a couple of smaller schools; Ouachita Baptist of D-II and Georgetown (Ky.) College of the NAIA. As his senior season progressed Phillips started hearing from bigger names like Air Force, Campbell of the FCS, Kent State, Arkansas, and Vanderbilt.

"It's been pretty cool," Phillips said of the recruiting attention. "I think it really picked up after people saw me compete at The Opening in July. I started getting a lot more letters after that. I'm not sure what's going to happen, but I want to go to a school that has shown it really does want me to be there. I love competition and want to go in a compete for playing time right away. One reason I went to Vanderbilt and why I make sure to visit all of the schools looking at me is making sure I'm in a place I know I'll fit in and enjoy my time there.

"One school that's also showing a lot of interest is Air Force. I'm open to it, but I'm trying to see if it's the right thing for me. A military academy, you know, is much more than just a four-year commitment. I'm open to all of the schools showing interest in me. I'm trying to arm myself with as much information as possible so when the time comes to make the call I'll be confident in my decision."

Phillips played the "drop end" position at North Little Rock. After dealing with ankle and wrist injuries during his sophomore and junior seasons, Phillips put together a big senior showing in Arkansas 7A leading the Charging Wildcats to a 10-2 season.

"This year I was the team's leading tackler with around 120 on the season," he said. "I started out my high school career as a free safety but moved down to linebacker when someone got hurt. Overall, I think that I had a solid year for a team that made it to the semifinals and should make All-State. It's been a good year. My coach just informed me I was the recipient of the Central Arkansas Champions Award. I'm ready, though, to take it to the next stage."

Phillips said he plans on continuing in track and field this spring. He specializes in the triple and long jump and the 400-meter dash.

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