Tennessee continues to pursue a number of defensive backs in the 2019 recruiting cycle. They made the list of finalists for one of their top cornerback targets on Saturday, and they made another list of finalists on Sunday for a physical safety out of Georgia.
Jalyn Phillips is a talented safety out of Lawrenceville, Georgia in the 2019 class. On Sunday, he tweeted out hashtags of four schools, essentially listing those four teams as his finalists before he announces his college decision in little over a month. Tennessee made the cut along with Alabama, Clemson, and Oklahoma.
— JP⁵ (@jalyn_phillips) July 15, 2018
Phillips originally tweeted out a top five back in the first week of June, and the Vols made that list as well. He removed USC from top five but kept the other four teams.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety holds offers from over 50 schools. Along with the teams in his top four, he holds offers from Florida State, Michigan, Oregon, Notre Dame, Texas, Michigan State, and many others. He’s rated as the No. 410 overall player and 35th-ranked safety in the 2019 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
According to Phillips himself on Twitter, he plans on making his college decision on his birthday on August 20th during a ceremony at his school.
Phillips is a hard-hitting safety with an explosive style of play. He tracks the ball well and has great vision in the defensive backfield. When he tackles a ball carrier, they know it; Phillips lowers his shoulder and obliterates running backs on several occasions on his highlight film. He’s solid in zone coverage, but his strength is definitely in defending the run.
As a junior last season, Phillips totaled 58 tackles and picked off one pass. Right now, it looks like Alabama and Oklahoma could be the frontrunners for his services. His most recent offer was from Clemson on June 6th, and so far his only official visit he’s taken has been to Oklahoma. He attended a Junior Day event on UT’s campus back in late February.
Tennessee needs as many defensive backs as they can get in the 2019 class, and Phillips would be a strong addition to their defensive backfield. If the Vols can get Phillips to take an official visit before his announcement date, then they could be in a great spot for him. Right now, however, it looks like Tennessee will have to fight off some stiff competition to try and land his commitment.