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4-star LB Joseph Phillips announces top five schools

Chad Simmons updated head shotby:Chad Simmons04/13/23

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Tuskegee (Ala.) Booker T. Washington four-star linebacker Joseph Phillips is hoping to take his official visits in the summer before committing in the first week of August. With a likely decision less than four months away, Phillips will be focusing on five schools going forward: Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas A&M.

“All five schools have good football programs,” Phillips told On3. “The facilities are nice and a lot of the schools have the same things I like. The biggest difference about these five schools from the rest that are recruiting me is the environment.”

Phillips has visited each of his finalists this year. He has been to Auburn three times, Georgia twice and Clemson, Tennessee and Texas A&M once.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound defender is taking an official visit to the Bulldogs on the weekend of June 3. Meanwhile, he is working on scheduling officials to his other four contenders.

“My decision will be based on relationships and the ability to play,” said Phillips, the No. 174 overall prospect and No. 14 linebacker in the 2024 On300. “I want to trust the coaches with me on and off the field. It is important for me to see the chance to play early too. Those are the two things I will really look at when I take my official visits and make my decision in August.”

As his recruitment picked up, Phillips quickly learned that he wanted to suit up in the SEC. Playing in the league is still of great interest to the four-star, but Clemson is working to change his mind.

“I think the SEC is the best of the best, then Clemson showed me something different,” Phillips said. “I went up there, the visit was great and even though it is an ACC school, they are one of my top five schools.”

Phillips still has a long time until announcing his commitment. However, the Alabama native already knows what he hopes to find in a program.

“I want to be part of a big family,” Phillips said. “These five schools have shown me that family environment I am looking for. I want to play football for a great program, but I want to play for a coach that I can truly talk to about life. Coaches at these schools can help me with life outside of football. Football is big, NIL is great, but life is what is most important to me. I want to play for a coaching staff that can help me grow outside of football.”