Before his Saturday unofficial visit, the last time Ocoee (Fla.) three-star defensive tackle Jordan Phillips was on campus at the University of Florida he was singled out by Inside the Gators as the dominant lineman during a June camp session.
— Inside the Gators (@InsideTheGators) June 14, 2021
Not long after that extraordinary performance the 6-foot-1, 300-pounder earned an offer from Florida, but then less than two weeks later committed to Tennessee.
"I don't sleep on any offer because it's always good to receive an offer because that means that the coaches believe in you, but the Florida offer was pretty big,” said Phillips. “It was pretty exciting."
However, he already had his sights set on another SEC program.
"It was the atmosphere there and the way Coach [Josh] Heupel is and how much faith I have in the program," replied Phillips when asked why he committed to Tennessee. "You see what coach [Rodney] Garner has done with defensive linemen, and that's hard to match. I have faith in the program, and I feel like we're going to do big things."
Though he is pledged elsewhere, Phillips decided to make the trip to Gainesville on Saturday to watch the Gators' season-opening win over Florida Atlantic.
"Gainesville is like two hours or an hour and some change from where I live," said Phillips. "I'd never been to a game there before so I wanted to experience it."
He said that the crowd, along with his interactions with fans and staff made the trip stand out.
"I loved it," said Phillips of his trip to Florida. "It was a great atmosphere. They have a great fanbase and a lot of the fans there already know who I was, so that was pretty cool. Coach [Dan] Mullen, Coach [David] Turner, Coach [Kelvin] Bolden, and Coach Rat [Keiwan Ratliff] all talked to me. They were excited to see me and they all pretty much showed me how much they love me and want me to come back for the Alabama game."
The question is, will he make it back for that huge SEC matchup in two weeks?
"I'm not sure right now," said Phillips. "As of right now I don't plan on taking any more visits, but we'll see."
The reason he doesn't have any visits planned is that he maintains that he is locked in with the Volunteers.
"I'm committed to Tennessee as of right now," stated Phillips. "I can't see any reason why I won't be signing with them."
The Inside Scoop: Phillips sounded a lot more solid to Tennessee than perhaps he actually really is. I have some other information that I will post in a weekend notebook on the forum. I think that if UF can keep getting him on campus, and press for his services, he can be flipped. He also said that other than Florida, he is hearing from Ole Miss, Georgia, and Maryland the most.