Signal Mountain's Phillips commits to Kentucky - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Signal Mountain's Phillips commits to Kentucky

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Photo courtesy of our media partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press Photo courtesy of our media partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, Tenn. (WRCB) -- Reese Phillips spent Wednesday morning in Lexington.

It didn't take the Signal Mountain quarterback long to realize he'd like to spend a little more time there.

Phillips confirmed via cell phone Wednesday afternoon that he has given a verbal commitment to Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips to play football for the Wildcats in the Southeastern Conference.

"It was just a great fit. It felt a lot like home and the coaching staff was unbelievable," Phillips said Thursday. "The SEC is the best conference in the country, so this is a dream come true."

The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder was ranked as a three-star prospect by He becomes the Wildcats' third commitment for the 2013 signing class.

The rising senior quarterback started generating interest from Division I programs early in his first season as a starter last fall. Despite playing in a run-based Wing-T offense, Phillips threw for more than 1,800 yards and tossed 21 touchdowns.

Phillips grew up a die-hard Tennessee fan, but received little interest from the in-state Vols. However, he received plenty of interest from Kentucky offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders, who held the same post in Knoxville while Phillips was growing up.

"It's so ironic that I grew up a huge Tennessee fan with Randy Sanders on the sidelines, and now I'm going to a place where he's going to coach me for the next four or five years. So it's special," Phillips said. "I've been telling people since I was two-years-old that I was going to go to Tennessee, which obviously didn't work out. But that's okay.

"It's recruiting, and you can't be a fan. You just have to go out and play, and whoever really wants you will treat you like family. That's what I looked for."

Our media partners at the Times Free Press report that he was scheduled to compete in camps at Alabama, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt this summer. He also had earlier scholarship offers from Memphis and Middle Tennessee State.

No matter what interest he gets in the future, Phillips said he's closing the book on his recruitment, and turning his focus to his future teammates.

"I didn't want to wait to make my decision because I think it's important for a recruiting class to get a quarterback in as early as possible," Phillips said. "Now that I've found my place, I can't wait to help recruit other guys to help make this signing class better."

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