UPDATED: After being offered by the USC Trojans the morning of Sept. 19, Redlands East Valley junior linebacker Jaelan Phillips confirmed that he has now been offered by the UCLA Bruins.
It is his fourth offer this week and the fourth of his five offers to come from a Pac-12 program.
“It has honestly been surreal…it is a dream come true in every sense of the phrase. Like I said before I am just honored and blessed to receive these offers especially from schools that are so highly esteemed,” he said. “It is a feeling like no other to be able to choose where I want to play Division 1 football but for now I can just focus on the season ahead of me.”
While Phillips has not verbally committed to any program at the moment, he stated earlier this week that UCLA is his dream school.
“I have been a lifelong UCLA fan because my dad, grandpa and grandma went there,” he explained. “But I am really open minded and just honored to get any offers.”
With his parents on hand, the 3-star prospect stated that the moment was very special.
“It was definitely one of the best moments I’ve had with my parents,” he said. “We just looked at each other, shook our heads and smiled from cheek to cheek. It was a really strong moment.”
Not only can Phillips hold his own on the football field, but he maintains a 4.1 GPA in the classroom.
“When you take care of your academics, colleges aren’t afraid to offer you early,” said Kurt Bruich, REV head coach. “Jaelan is a great example of that. He has been blessed with a D1 body and athleticism, as so many are but his attention to detail in the classroom is what sets him apart.”
Bruich will be the first to tell you that he has seen growth on the field from Phillips, after participating in last year’s CIF State Championship run.
“Truthfully. He got lucky last year. He was the right man in the right spot in the state final. The rest of the year, he was like a new born calf that was growing into his body and feet,” Bruich explained. “This year, he’s getting it. He understands what his position is and his responsibilities.”
Only being a junior allows plenty of time for the linebacker to continue his process of development.
“Colleges see his size, frame and potential,” Bruich added. “The sky is the limit for this young man. I just hope he will continue to humble himself and grow.”