Redlands (Ca.) East Valley DE Jaelan Phillips has Washington very high on his early list of favorites

Redlands (Ca.) East Valley DE Jaelan Phillips is one of the top defensive end prospects on the West Coast as he begin the 2017 recruiting cycle and Washington has definitely made a positive early impression on him...

Washington is one of eight schools to offer Phillips and there are a couple other that are close to joining the fray.

"I have offers from U-Dub, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado," Phillips told "The two schools that are talking to me a lot, but haven't offered yet are Washington State and Notre Dame."

Phillips made a few unofficial visits to some of the schools that have offered him and Washington was one of them.

"I had an amazing time (in Seattle)," Phillips recalled. "I really got to get a feel for the city and campus and spend quality time with the coaching staff.

"I was extremely impressed with how genuine the staff was and really made a good personal connection. I got to sit in a few player meetings and got a feel for coach (Pete) Kwiatand coach Pete's coaching style. The facilities were great and the stadium and campus were beautiful as well. It was definitely a great visit."

Phillips also took a trip to see Oregon and he made it down to UCLA for a game as well. 

"Oregon was great," Phillips said. "I loved the coaching staff and the facilities were unreal. The game day atmosphere is something that I had never experienced and I was blown away by that. 

"UCLA was awesome as well. I have grown up around UCLA because that is my dad's alma mater, so I am very familiar with the campus, but i got a chance to get to know the coaches better and see the plans for the new facilities which I am excited about."

One of the lead recruiters for Washington with Phillips was former defensive line coach Jeff Choate, who has now taken the head coaching job with Montana State and he said while his departure caught him by surprise he has built a good relationship with a couple of other Husky coaches.

"I've been in contact with coach (Keith) Bhonapha, coach (Pete) Kwiatkowski and coach (Chris) Petersen pretty frequently and I also just talked to coach (Ikaika) Malloe recently and I got to know him a little too," Phillips said. "I haven't talked to him extensively yet, but from talking to him briefly, he seems like a really cool guy."

As a junior this past season, the 6'6", 240-pounder totaled 76 tackles, 10.5 sacks and two interceptions while helping to lead his team to a 9-3 record.

"I thought it went pretty well overall," Phillips said about the 2015 season. "We didn't perform as well as we wanted to as a whole, but I felt that I improved a lot and got a lot more comfortable.

"A lot of guys got experience as well, so I'm excited for next year."

This offseason, Phillips is looking at getting out to some camps although he hasn't set up an official itinerary at this point.

"I was invited to the Opening regionals and I'll be going to whatever camps I get invited to and possibly some of the camps that the schools that have offered me are going to have."

As far as when he plans to make a decision, Phillips said he doesn't have a timeline, but that he would like to take all of his official visits before he commits to a school.

We will have more on Phillips in the coming weeks and months as he gets deeper into the process and we will update news on him as it happens.

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