LB Phillips talks pledging to Tigers

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU got some big news this weekend in the form of a commitment from linebacker Lorenzo Phillips, ranked No. 135 in the ESPNU 150.

Phillips, a four-star outside linebacker from Patterson, La., pledged his services to the Tigers during his official visit this weekend, but he said he didn't need the trip to make up his mind.

"I knew before I got up there, I knew I was going to commit. I just didn't know what date," Phillips said. "When I got up there, I felt like it was the right time when I was sitting down with Coach Miles."

This makes Phillips' third commitment since last spring. He pledged to Texas A&M in March before quickly decommitting. He then committed to Florida before decommitting in October.

Phillips said it had always been his intention to decide before National Signing Day, he just didn't know how long he should wait. He said LSU's close proximity to home and presence in the state helped seal the deal.

"It's home. That's one of the reasons I knew already. I wanted to be home and I've got family down there and everything," he said. "All the coaches, the university, and the players, they all just made me feel at home."

Phillips' decision comes as a big boost to an LSU program that has endured a turbulent few weeks. If it wasn't bad enough to lose the BCS Championship Game to rival Alabama, the Tigers followed that up by losing commitments from highly-touted prospects Gunner Kiel and Patrick Miller.

"I'm not worried about it. It just makes me even hungrier, and I wasn't even on the team. So I know how they feel," Phillips said.

The Tigers will suffer heavy losses in the linebacking unit in 2012. Three-year starter Ryan Baker is gone, as are fellow seniors Karnell Hatcher and Stefoin Francois. That fact wasn't lost on Phillips.

"I'm going to be playing (weakside linebacker), and I think with Ryan Baker and everybody leaving, there's a good chance for a freshman to come up and get a chance," he said. "They're starting all over with a brand new unit. As long as I work hard, I should get there, or at least get some playing time."