Can The Vols Land 4-Star DE Kyle Phillips?


Sep 28, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; A general view of Neyland Stadium during the game between the Tennessee Volunteers and South Alabama Jaguars. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

A major reason the Tennessee Volunteers’ 2014 recruiting class was so successful was the incredible in-state talent they were able to land.

Butch Jones and the Vols were able to sign nine of the state’s top eleven recruits.

There aren’t as many highly touted recruits in the state in 2015, but there are still some high quality guys.

Four-star defensive end Kyle Phillips is one of those guys.

Kyle Phillips Highlights

Phillips is a 6’4″/255 lb strong-side defensive end from Nashville, TN (Hillsboro). 247Sports rates him as the second best player in the state of Tennessee and the sixth best strong-side defensive end in the nation.

The Tennessee native holds notable offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Ole Miss, Ohio State and Vanderbilt — in addition to his offer from the Vols.

It would appear that Tennessee, along with Alabama and hometown Vanderbilt would be the current leaders for Phillips. Alabama is definitely making a strong run at him. Phillips was visited by the Crimson Tide coaching staff on January 28 and took an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa on February 1.

Phillips was last in Knoxville on November 9 for the Vols’ loss to the Auburn Tigers.

It’ll be tough for the Vols to go head to head with Alabama and get a commitment from Phillips, despite their recent success in the mid-state area. Alabama can offer the opportunity to immediately play for national championships. As well as being a recent pipeline to the NFL for players on the defensive side of the ball.

Butch Jones was able to sell rebuilding Tennessee to the 2014 class. He’ll still be able to sell some elements of that to 2015 recruits, but these 2015 guys want to see progress on the field. Unfortunately for the Vols, progress is widely viewed as wins and losses. Tennessee’s 2014 schedule doesn’t offer a lot of easy wins.

Hopefully for the Vols, recruits will be able to look past the win/loss column and see how the on-the-field product actually improves.

Kyle Phillips is a guy the Vols need and a guy they can get, but I would expect his decision to go right up until National Signing Day 2015. Even if he commits somewhere before then, other teams won’t stop pursuing him until he faxes his letter of intent to his school of choice.

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