Omaha (Neb.) Millard West defensive end Harrison Phillips landed his eighth scholarship offer of the recruiting process on Sunday from Florida Atlantic. It was his first from a school in the state of Florida - an option that piques the Nebraska native's interest.
"I sent them an email after I won state wrestling," Phillips said. "Bo Pelini's brother is there and some of those coaches were at [South Dakota State], so I knew they knew this Nebraska area well. They replied, we started talking and then I started getting all these offers and they hopped on board [Sunday]. I'm very excited about it."
The 6-foot-4, 246-pound Phillips is intrigued by the opportunity to attend school in the warm-weather climate Florida Atlantic provides, and he is now looking at scheduling a trip to the school.
"They pretty much said, 'You have to come down,'" Phillips said. "It's one of their rules that they don't let people commit until they come and see the whole thing for themselves, so will probably be down there over the summer.
"Ross Drwal's brother lives 30 minutes from that area, and Ross is interested in them. We might do a combined trip and make it affordable where we stay with his brother. We don't have anything set in stone."
The offer from Florida Atlantic was immediately preceded by one from Yale. Both schools offer two different experiences, but both are of interest to Phillips.
"Florida Atlantic is a good one and Yale is pretty much the same," Phillips said. "That is a whole different ball game in the Ivy League. Coming out of a place like that, you hear stories of guys 24 years old making $200,000. I need to go out there, see it and meet everybody."
Phillips' other offers have come from Kansas State, North Dakota, Northern Illinois, Ohio, South Dakota and South Dakota State. He also continues to hear from additional BCS programs.
"Nebraska said to come to camp and Coach Pelini really wants to see me there, so that's the plan," Phillips said. "I will be attending that most likely, as well as Iowa and Iowa State. I still have a lot of interest in those schools."
Phillips also plans spring game visits to Wisconsin and Kansas State on back-to-back weekends in April. He still is aiming for a pre-season decision, but knows a lot of work needs to be done before then.
"I don't feel 17 years old making the decision I'm going to have to make this next year," Phillips said. "My parents know that college will be played for, so we're going to dip into those expenses and visit as many college has have offered me.
"I want to win a state championship above everything, so I need to help build up my team. I need to be able to help the guys in the summer, as well as get out so I can make this big decision before my senior year."
Phillips is also still juggling wrestling with his recruitment and development. The state heavyweight champion this winter, Phillips will head to Virginia Beach in two weekends to take part in the wrestling nationals.