In-state DB Jalyn Phillips on his UGA offer: ‘It means the world to me’
It came down to Alabama or Georgia, and Jalyn Phillips chose the Bulldogs.
The 4-star safety from Archer High in Gwinnett County made the decision to be at G-Day on Saturday, after recently tweeting that he had an offer from UGA.
The nation’s No. 29 safety in the 247Sports 2019 composite ranking plays on the same Tigers defense which includes the likes of 3-star strongside defensive end Colby Wooden and 4-star cornerback target Andrew Booth.
Phillips tweeted his top 10 on March 25. It was interesting to note that he had the Bulldogs among his top 10, but he did not claim a public offer.
— JP⁵ (@jalyn_phillips) March 25, 2018
There was a good reason for that. He actually did have a UGA offer — he just hadn’t posted it.
“I do have a Georgia offer,” Phillips said on April 12. “I have one, but I just haven’t posted it yet. But last month Coach Kirby [Smart] and Coach [Mel] Tucker got word to me to call them and they let me know that good news.”
Phillips wanted to keep that on the DL until he posted the offer. The idea was to get up to Athens and try on the jersey and then post the offer with those pictures.
But he called an audible on that one, while on his first official visit to Oklahoma.
What did the UGA offer mean to him?
“It means the world to me definitely because it is that big in-state offer,” Phillips said. “Coach Kirby is a really great guy and then Coach Tucker the coordinator is a defensive back guy. So that offer definitely meant the world to me coming from those two.”
The offer was layered.
“They like me at all the positions in the secondary,” Phillips said. “They like the way that I can play the corner and the safety and want to work me a little at nickel and a little at safety to work me in at all the positions.”
The timeline for his decision could be estimated at some point near the end of his senior season. He’s going to keep taking his visits to narrow that down.
He does look at Georgia differently since Smart arrived. Phillips also said that Tucker is his primary recruiter.
“He hits me up on the daily,” Phillips said. “He likes how versatile I am and he likes my height and weight and he loves that I am a hitter.”
Another layer of Intel regarding Jalyn Phillips
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound rising senior is big on versatility. So where is his best position fit?
“I would play him anywhere,” Booth said. “Safety. Nickel. Corner. I would play him anywhere.”
Where is he at with his decision? He compared the process to a football game, then said he’s probably just entering the second quarter. He has a ways to go.
Phillips has a team goal in mind.
“I am going to worry about my senior season and my guys here,” he said. “So we can be the best we can be at Archer High School. I have nothing but love for my guys. We are trying to win a state championship here.”
He has already taken an official visit to Oklahoma. He said that Alabama was the only other certain official visit at this time.
Which schools are coming after him the hardest?
“There are about four of them,” Phillips said. “There is a tie among the four of them. Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama and Florida State.”
North Gwinnett 4-star DJ Turner establishes his top 11
DJ Tuner is at North Gwinnett High School. That’s the other school in Gwinnett County that, like Archer, has a 3-piece set of defenders with Georgia offers.
Turner tweeted out his top schools on Tuesday night. Georgia made the cut in a very impressive list. He ranks as the nation’s No. 26 cornerback prospect for 2019 on the 247Sports composite standard.
— DJ Turner II (@djturner_2019) April 17, 2018
Turner had Alabama, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State and Stanford as his final 11. He’s told DawgNation to look for him to make his decision sometime over the summer, before his senior season.
He’s part of a secondary that led North Gwinnett to the state championship in Georgia’s largest classification last season.
Georgia sends out a Big O offer
The Bulldogs liked what they saw out of Memphis defensive tackle prospect Omari “Big O” Thomas on Monday night. This offer will be one to watch for several reasons.
— Omari "Big O" Thomas⚡️ (@901_sxvxge) April 17, 2018
Perhaps the most important will be his connection to 4-star Georgia commit Bill Norton. Norton is in the Class of 2019 and he plays at nearby Christian Brothers in Memphis, in the same region of Tennessee high school football.
“Just getting to go against Bill made me a better player on offense,” Thomas said. “The day after we played them he was getting interviewed and he was saying that I was a good player. So he and I have just become cool with one another over the years.”
Thomas grew up and kept getting bigger and naturally that “Big O” name just kind of stuck. The 6-5, 285-pound prospect could project to either offensive line or defensive line, but he thinks he is a better fit for the defensive side of the ball.
“I’m a defensive lineman,” Thomas said. “I play the majority of a 5 technique and a 3 technique.”
That’s despite his current 247Sports ranking pegging him as the nation’s No. 9 tackle prospect in the 2020 class. He also rates as the No. 2 player in Tennessee and the nation’s No. 42 prospect overall.
Thomas also took a visit to Alabama on Tuesday. UGA defensive line coach Tray Scott extended the offer. He said he had several big offers prior to the one from the Bulldogs.
“I would say that LSU stood out to me as well as Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Memphis. I had offers from several schools.”
Where does Georgia fit into that hierarchy?
“Georgia will be kind of high on the list,” he said. “I was excited when I got that offer. I hadn’t heard much from Georgia so just being able to get the offer, I was pretty excited about it.”
Thomas has never been to Georgia but said he will definitely take a trip to UGA soon.
He won’t be at any spring games this weekend. Thomas will be at an AAU event with his club basketball team. That’s likely why he has such good feet. Those size 15s can move around without tripping over themselves.
The Tennessee resident also plays basketball for his high school varsity team and grew up playing soccer.
“He’s a monster on both sides of the ball,” Norton said. “He can play on either side he wants to in college. His footwork is amazing, too. I’d compare him to Michael Oher.”
Look for him to make his college decision closer to his senior season. He also feels he still has some growing left to do.
“I think I have about two more growth spurts left in me,” Thomas said.
A development to pay attention to from South Florida
Perhaps one of the more interesting news items of the day was a de-commitment made by South Florida wide receiver Leonard Manuel. Manuel, who had previously been committed to Miami, currently ranks as the nation’s No. 13 overall prospect and the No. 2 wide receiver for 2020 by 247Sports.
— DANGER🤫🚫 (@Begreatliltone2) April 17, 2018
Rivals rates him as a 5-star recruit.
Manuel is also coming off an unofficial visit to UGA. While he’s rated as a WR, a few observations from that part of the world, as well as scouting circles, see the long 6-4 target developing into a tight end as his game progresses.
Check out his film below.
Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.