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QB Reese Phillips 'pretty set' on Kentucky

11/5/2012

Quarterback Reese Phillips will be watching Kentucky's coaching search closely.

"I'll defintely keep tabs," the pocket passer from Signal Mountain (Tenn.) High said. "I know that myself and the other quarterbacks at Kentucky, we're all the same style."

That could bode well for Phillips if Kentucky's athletic department considers the current roster when it determines what style of play a new coach would bring. The school announced Sunday that head coach Joker Phillips will not be retained after the season. The Wildcats lost to Vanderbilt 40-0 on Saturday and dropped to 1-9 overall and 0-7 in the SEC.

"I am a pocket passer but I feel like I'm an athlete," said Reese Phillips, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback. "[But] I don't think I could do an all-running deal. That would definitely turn me away."

Phillips chose Kentucky in June. He had scholarship offers from Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State.

"I heard from Memphis a couple of weeks ago when the whole Joker-is-going-to-get-fired thing was going on," Phillips said. "I'm sure they will [keep trying to recruit him after Phillips' dismissal]. I'm pretty set on Kentucky."

Phillips said he chose Kentucky over other scholarship offers partly because it was his only SEC offer. He said he also liked the school and Lexington, which reminded him of his home city of Chattanooga, Tenn.

"The people up there are so nice and so welcoming," Phillips said. "I was treated like family right away."

Those factors will still be in play for Phillips. Another won't. Phillips said he had grown fond of Joker Phillips and offensive coordinator Randy Sanders.

"In particular with Joker and coach Sanders I was pretty close," the senior prospect said. "Especially coach Sanders -- he's the one who has allowed me live out my dream [of playing in the SEC]."

Since committing to Kentucky, Phillips said he's had some contact from Auburn and Penn State. He said he's seen limited interest from Alabama. Phillips, who threw for 2,300 yards this season and accounted for 25 touchdowns, said he felt like a change in Lexington could be coming.

"It was disappointing, but I wasn't shocked or anything," he said. "I'm still committed. It's the SEC. This kind of stuff happens. I love the school and Lexington."