Phillips' mother, Jemecia Phillips, said her son, a 20-year-old fullback, had planned to transfer to Jackson State University, adding that she was proud of him.
"He was always helpful," she said.
Auburn University football coach Gene Chizik said he was saddened for the "entire Auburn family," but was "devastated" to learn that two of his players had been killed.
"Nobody should ever have to endure such unimaginable grief, and we will love and support the victims' families during this terribly difficult time," Chizik said.
The university and its athletic director released statements of grief and condolences to the victims' families and friends. University officials are in "constant contact" with authorities to assist as needed, according to a statement.
Turquorius Vines, 23, told The Associated Press he was at the pool party when he and his friends began arguing over a woman with two men they'd never seen before.
Vines punched one of the strangers and his friend hit them over the head with a bottle. That was when the strangers -- either one or both of them -- began shooting.
His friend died at the scene, he said. He told The Associated Press that losing his friend was like losing a lung.
"I don't know how I'm going to survive this," he said.