Freshman defensive back Jalyn Phillips is among the summer enrollees in Clemson’s 2019 signing class that are moving in this weekend.
The former four-star prospect from Lawrenceville, Ga., can’t wait to get on campus full-time and start his career as a Tiger.
“I’m very excited,” Phillips told The Clemson Insider. “I’ve been lifting weights and getting the playbook down. Getting done with that recruiting process, it’s like college, like life really hit. Going into college, moving in, I’m going to be moving in with my best friend… It’s going to be a heck of an experience.”
The best friend Phillips referred to is freshman cornerback and former five-star recruit Andrew Booth. The two will be rooming together.
“He’s always going to make sure I’m on my A-1 game, I’m going to make sure he’s on his A-1 game,” Phillips said. “So, being with him, it’s a blessing of course. Both of us being able to come from the same high school, growing up together, going to the same college — it’s truly a blessing.”
Phillips (6-2, 205), who committed to Clemson last August, has talked with the coaches about the key to seeing early playing time as a freshman this fall.
“They said the more you know the playbook, the quicker you can get on the field,” he said. “Of course everyone’s an athlete, but you’ve got to know the system and be coachable. So right now, they want me to learn playing the nickel and the strong safety, be as versatile as I can. They want me to go up there, watch film with Isaiah Simmons and K’Von (Wallace) so I can understand the defense more.
“So, they’re just saying be ready when my name is called and know the playbook. If I know what’s going on, then playing time shouldn’t be an issue.”
A three-year starter at Archer High School, Phillips finished his career with 198 tackles, six tackles for loss, two interceptions and 12 passes defensed in addition to three fumble recoveries and a blocked punt. In 2017, he was an all-region defensive back, and in 2018, earned all-region and all-county honors.
As he gets ready to start the next chapter in his football career, Phillips is eager to compete for playing time right away and do what it takes to make an early impact for the Tigers in 2019.
“I’m just getting in that playbook, knowing everything I can know, and trying to get on the field to contribute and help out the team as much as I can,” he said. “Being a young guy, I’m going to go up there and try to get bigger and stronger and do as much as I can for Coach Venables and Swinney and just show them what I can do.”