The Oklahoma Sooners’ future defense received a boost on Wednesday when inside linebacker Jacob Phillips committed to their 2017 recruiting class.
Phillips made the announcement at East Nashville High School’s auditorium and said, “Oklahoma has been the top school in my mind for a really long time. I’m just glad to finally say it to the public that I’m an Oklahoma Sooner,” per Woody Wommack of Rivals.
The 6’3” and 223-pound Phillips is a 4-star prospect, per Scout, and the No. 182 overall player, No. 7 inside linebacker and No. 1 inside linebacker from the state of Tennessee in the 2017 class.
Phillips pointed to Oklahoma’s perseverance after he made his decision, per Wommack:
They offered me after my sophomore season and it’s a school that hasn’t really offered many people in Tennessee before. But they came down and they saw what I had and we built a connection with them. It’s been a two-year long relationship that I built with them … the longer you have a relationship with someone the easier it is to trust them.
The talented linebacker attracted a laundry list of some of the best programs in the country during his recruiting cycle. Programs such as Oklahoma, Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame and Texas A&M were all included on Scout’s list of interested schools at one point.
Hudl provided some of the highlights that captured just why so many of the top-notch schools in the country were interested in adding Phillips to their future defenses:
According to Tom Loy of 247Sports, Phillips racked up more than 120 tackles during his junior season at the high school level. While he may not put up those eye-popping numbers against elite competition in college, his ball-hawking abilities and prowess for attacking the rushing game in north-south fashion should translate nicely.
Scout said Phillips “has the size you look for in a big linebacker that can control the middle.” If he does control the middle for the Sooners and helps create a formidable run defense that is stout at the point of attack, he will more than live up to the hype that will accompany him when he arrives on campus.
Look for Phillips to compete for playing time right away with that overall skill set, especially as a rotational linebacker for a defense that is just 89th in the country in yards allowed per game this season and could use the help.
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Source: Bleacher Report-CFB News