Clark Phillips Looks Back On First Time Meeting Ty Jordan
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In just a few short months as teammates, Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III and running back Ty Jordan built a strong relationship.
Both Clark Phillips and Ty Jordan were entering their first season of college football and both had similar goals for their football careers.
On the third episode of the “Faith, Family and Football podcast, Phillips went down memory lane on the first time he met Jordan on campus.
You can listen to the full episode, below.
Jordan tragically passed away on Christmas night in 2020. Going into the season opener against Weber State, it would mark the first football game for the Utes since Jordan tragically passed away.
“Man it’s tough,” Phillips said. “Being a player that played with him and shared so many great moments with Ty. He was just a special soul, man. Many players have said it, the coaches have said it, we’re dedicating this to him. It’s all that he will want us to do is continue to work hard, for us to continue to do it for him, us to continue to just do everything weekly that we can to win. It hits me in a funny way, man, just knowing that he’s not here, but I know that he’s in a better place. We’re just grateful man for that guy. He was a special special soul and he did so many great things on and off the field and just to build the relationships that he built in the time he was here. Just seeing how he touched so many different hearts and so many different people was special. He’s someone that I aspire to be like.”
Meeting Jordan For The First Time
The first time that Phillips met Jordan was when the young running back was moving into the dorms at the University of Utah. Running backs coach Kiel McDonald asked Phillips to pop over and meet Jordan.
“He (Jordan) was like ‘man, we will beat any team in Cali,’ like we were just talking trash and stuff. He was asked me if I played any video games, I was telling him I play Madden but I didn’t play too much,” mentioned Phillips. “I told him that I heard good things about him and can’t wait to get him up here and work and and everything and he was just telling me like ‘man, I’m excited.'”
Jordan had a tough time at first adjusting to the conditioning drills at Utah but even when he was in shape, he would go into the huddle tired.
“O-line men can attest to this, there wasn’t a time that he went into the huddle and wasn’t tired,” said Phillips. “He was always out of breath. But what made him different was every run he ran, he gave it his all. He would come back to the huddle whether it’s a two yard gain or a 50-yard gain, the same level of tired, but it just showed you how gritty of a player he was and how badly he really wanted it because no matter what, he always was bent over and tired. But that dude always made something happen too. I could tell he was special from the moment that I met him. He had a loving spirit like no other. He different.”
Interaction In Regular Season Finale
Late in the fourth quarter in Utah’s comeback win over Washington State in the 2020 regular season finale, Phillips had a pick-six. After scoring the touchdown and going over to the sideline, Jordan was the first one to congratulate him.
“He was the first man that ran up to me and hug me and say, ‘man, you looking like my son’ after my pick-six,” Phillips said. “He was having a crazy good game as well. That was special, I watch that video over and over sometimes and I cry. I miss his smile. I miss his contagious energy. He always had a smile. His heart was always happy. I’m just glad he’s in a better place now. As much as we love him, we know that he’s in a better place.”
Check out the full podcast episode above where Phillips talked about the celebration of life at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.