UCLA sophomore edge defender Jaelan Phillips has left the program and is unlikely to return, 247Sports reported Saturday.
Phillips has only played in 10 games across two college seasons, and the report says his exit from the Bruins is “injury-related, even though it’s not being characterized as a medical retirement.” It also says if Phillips returns, it’s likelier that instead of playing again for UCLA, he’ll transfer.
Phillips’ departure from UCLA would be big news, as would a transfer. He was the top-rated recruit in the country two years ago.
Phillips finished No. 1 on the 247Sports Composite in the class of 2017. Not everyone had him as the No. 1 player in the country, but he was the closest thing the sprawling recruiting industry had to a consensus top pick that year. Most recruiting analysts saw him then as a defensive end with the potential to play outside linebacker, as he’s done in college.