Even though he's been slowed after suffering a shoulder injury last fall, things have continued to pick up on the recruiting trail for 2015 Rivals250 Nashville (Tenn.) Hillsboro defensive end Kyle Phillips.
Over the past few months several SEC programs have turned up the heat on Phillips, including nearby Tennessee and annual power Alabama.
"I've been talking to Tennessee a lot," Phillips said. "They're really trying to win the state in recruiting and they want to get all the top players in Tennessee and beat out Vandy and they were able to do that this year."
Phillips said the Vols main recruiting pitch is to join marquee players from the class of 2014 in Knoxville.
"Really they've been selling me on the in-state angle and that we can be part of the turnaround," Phillip said. "They have a lot of good recruits coming in this year and they have a couple in 2015 already so they're going to try to keep on building."
With Tennessee finishing in the top 10 nationally in Butch Jones first year on the job, Phillips said he couldn't help but be impressed with the Vols efforts.
"They did a really good job recruiting this year," he said. "They got a lot of in-state guys that came. I think they did really good for the first year being there, getting their first class. They have a lot to sell and they did it pretty good."
As far as the Tide, Phillips was on campus earlier this month for a junior day visit and came away impressed.
"I went there and it was a good experience," Phillips said. "They're pretty high on me. I've been talking to Coach Steele mostly and Coach Saban came by my school recently so that was pretty cool."
Phillips added that the offer from Alabama was his most exciting to date.
"Alabama is the top level," he said. "It's the best school to get offered by so that was exciting for me to be there knowing that they want me to be there."
On Saturday, Phillips visited Kentucky and said he plans to be on campus in Knoxville again soon. In the meantime, he's focused on getting healthy.
"It's feeling alright and I have pretty good motion right now," he said. "I need to strengthen it up so I can be 100 percent. I'm probably like 65 percent right now so hopefully by spring I should be ready to go."