Phillips wants to see Vols improve

InsideTennessee keeps readers informed about all the latest Tennessee football recruiting news. Scroll down to read a story about Scout four-star Kyle Phillips and get his most recent thoughts on the Vols.

Scout four-star defensive end Kyle Phillips competes in events like last weekend's Tennessee Exposure Camp at Tennessee State University to test his talents against some of the best prospects in the state.

But as Phillips treks from camp to camp, he knows more than just stout competition awaits.

"I know I'm about to hear a lot about Tennessee," Phillips said. "I can't avoid it, man. Every time. It's always Tennessee, Tennessee, Tennessee."

Vols fans can thank in-state offensive tackle commit Jack Jones for that, as Phillips joked that Jones recruits him harder than any coach.

"Jack recruits me real hard," Phillips said. "He's a good guy. That dude is obsessed with UT, I'll tell you that."

While Jones is hoping his ‘obsession' is contagious, for now Phillips still claims to be "wide open."

With that said, the nation's No. 17 defensive end prospect said Ole Miss, Tennessee and Alabama are recruiting him "hardest."

"I'm still taking it slow right now," Phillips told InsideTennessee. "I just want to learn more about schools and learn more about where I'd fit in best and stuff like that."

Phillips has been visited by coaches from Tennessee, LSU, Penn State, Georgia, Kentucky and more within the past few weeks.

"It's been getting pretty crazy," Phillips said. "I'm just trying to enjoy it."

The Hillsboro (Tenn.) High School standout continues to call his relationship with Tennessee defensive line coach Tommy Thigpen "really strong," saying the two talk regularly.

"We're really close," Phillips said. "He's just a real good guy. I like him."

Phillips has visited Tennessee's campus handfuls of times now and admits he thinks he knows just about everything about the Vols' program.

So now, Phillips said he just wants to sit back and watch as Tennessee gears up for its second season under coach Butch Jones.

"I'm trying to win. That's big for me. I want to win," Phillips told IT. "I want to see success and improvement from year to year. So I'm looking forward to watching Tennessee and see if they do better from last year. I want to see improvement. I'll be watching closely."

The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder said he doesn't expect Tennessee to go undefeated next fall, rather he's simply looking for the Vols to build off small steps they made last season.

And Phillips is confident Tennessee will do just that.

"I think they have all the right pieces in place, man," he said. "They bring in a really good recruiting class and it's looking like they have another really good one coming is in 2015 as well. I think they're heading in the right direction, for sure."

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