4-star safety Jalyn Phillips explains why the Tigers made his top group
The recruiting process can sometimes be stressful and a distraction, especially when a prospect has an offer list as long as Jalyn Phillips’. The four-star safety from Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer has 40-plus offers from programs all over the country.
So, Phillips decided to narrow down his recruitment in order to eliminate some of the aforementioned stress and reduce the distraction of recruiting.
On Sunday, Phillips announced a top 10 of Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ohio State, Southern Cal, Nebraska and Tennessee in no specific order.
“I wanted to narrow things down so I can focus on my (upcoming senior) season,” Phillips told The Clemson Insider at The Opening Atlanta regional camp Sunday.
Clemson managed to make Phillips’ top group despite the fact it hasn’t yet offered him a scholarship.
So why did Clemson make the cut? Because Phillips feels an offer from the Tigers is in the cards.
“I hear from them weekly,” Phillips said of Clemson. “They want to see how I do during spring practice. They told me to keep waiting and be patient, (an offer) is coming soon. I have a good relationship with them.”
Specifically, Phillips said he communicates with Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn on a near-daily basis. Conn has strong ties to the state of Georgia, having spent 16 years as the head coach of Loganville (Ga.) Grayson High School, which is located less than 10 minutes away from Phillips’ Archer High.
Phillips (6-1, 190) also stays in touch with cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and said he speaks with head coach Dabo Swinney about once a month.
“Coach Conn, I’ve known him for a long time,” Phillips said. “He’s always been close knowing where I come from and everything, so it’s a good relationship with him. And coach Swinney, he’s an amazing guy. Getting a chance to talk to him, it’s a blessing.”
Phillips has visited Clemson numerous times in the past, including for games last fall.
When he thinks about Clemson, it’s hard for him to pinpoint only one thing that that stands out.
“Just the whole program,” he said of what he likes. “Academic wise, the facility, how big it is… They focus on football and academics, and that’s just great.”
Phillips hopes to wrap up his recruitment and make a decision after his senior season.
Clemson is an offer he covets.
“It would mean the world,” he said. “I have a good relationship with all the coaches there and keep talking to them, so it would mean a lot.”
Phillips said the Tigers will have a shot with him until the end.
“They’ll always be in the mix for me, just being so close with the guys and not far from home,” he said. “So they’ll always be in the mix.”
Phillips wants to return to Clemson and watch a spring practice before the spring is over. He mentioned Oklahoma, Oregon and Southern Cal as a few of the other schools he’s looking to get to.
ESPN ranks Phillips as the No. 264 overall prospect in the 2019 class regardless of position.