LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Clemson added another stud prospect to its 2019 recruiting class on Monday, when Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer four-star safety Jalyn Phillips announced his commitment to the Tigers over finalists Oklahoma and Alabama.
The Clemson Insider was on site at Archer High School for Phillips’ announcement ceremony, and he spoke about his decision afterward.
“It’s always felt like home to me,” said Phillips, who has visited Clemson numerous times over the years. “I have a good relationship with the whole coaching staff. I just kept visiting there and praying about it with my family, and I knew it was home.”
The Clemson commitment was an early birthday present from Phillips to himself. He had made up his mind that Clemson was the school for him long before Monday’s announcement, but wanted to wait to reveal his college choice in front of family, friends, coaches and teachers on the day he turned 18.
“I made my decision this summer,” Phillips said. “I wanted to do something special for my birthday, so I just chose that day.”
Dabo Swinney and Clemson’s coaching staff have been recruiting Phillips since the end of his sophomore year, and his bond with them was a big factor in his commitment decision.
“Dabo’s definitely a genuine person,” Phillips said. “I love going up there and talking to him. The whole coaching staff, they all show me love, and I have a great relationship with all of them.”
Phillips had long coveted a scholarship offer from Clemson before finally receiving it in early June.
“They wanted to see me play at free safety because I was playing a little rover position,” Phillips said of the late offer from Clemson. “So them seeing me play at free safety and seeing that I can cover and come downhill and hit people… It was a definitely a blessing and a dream come true.”
“They said I’m very versatile and I can play any position in the secondary,” he added. “So they’re going to use me as much as they can.”
Phillips picked up the offer while on a visit to Clemson with his parents, who are All In with Clemson as well, along with the rest of his family.
“They love it,” he said. “Every time we go up there, it’s like home. They’re speechless about it.”
Phillips is the second defensive back from Archer High School to commit to Clemson in as many months.
Archer five-star cornerback Andrew Booth committed on July 30, and Phillips can’t wait to team up with him again at the next level.
“It’s definitely going to be a blessing playing with him,” Phillips said. “That’s going to be something special to see.”
Phillips is ranked as a four-star prospect by ESPN, which ranks him as the No. 24 safety in the country for the 2019 class.
He becomes the 23rd total commitment in Clemson’s 2019 class and fourth pledge from a safety, joining Milton (Ga.)’s Joseph Charleston, Shelby (N.C.) Crest’s Lannden Zanders and Phenix City (Ala.) Central’s Ray Thornton.