Utah CB Clark Phillips III Putting National Media Outlets On Notice Heading Into 2022 Season
Jan 25, 2022, 2:29 PM | Updated: Jan 26, 2022, 3:52 pm
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY – After a strong finish to the 2021 season, Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III has put some of the national media outlets on notice on his potential with the Utes.
Clark Phillips made big plays all season for Utah football but stepped up to another level in the last two games. In the Pac-12 Championship game against Oregon, Phillips made an athletic play to breakup a pass on fourth down that basically sealed the win for the Utes.
Then in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State, Phillips had five tackles, a forced fumble, one pass breakup and an interception.
National media outlets are releasing their list of projections heading into the 2022 season. Two particular lists were released this week that have mentioned Phillips.
Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports posted a story of an early look at the top 20 NFL draft-eligible college football players in 2022. This is among all the players in the country, not just the cornerback position. Fornelli put Phillips at No. 11 as the highest ranked player on the list in the Pac-12.
I wrote about 20 college football players who aren’t draft eligible this spring, but will be popping up in all the 2023 mock drafts soon. https://t.co/pGJC5O4Ews
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) January 24, 2022
Here is what Fornelli said about Phillips:
“The former four-star recruit was a big win for coach Kyle Whittingham and the Utes on the recruiting trail, and he’s paid off big-time ever since. Phillips’ ability to cover and help out against the run was a big part of Utah’s overall success, and it will continue to be a reason why NFL teams will view him as a possible No. 1 corner at the next level.”
Pro Football Focus (PFF) released their list of the top 10 returning cornerbacks in college football for the 2022 season.
Clark Phillips III (true soph) has been one of the top DBs out west in the second half of the season.
Best returning Pac-12 corner https://t.co/tqqNiToeoJ
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) January 1, 2022
On that list, Phillips came in at No. 3 in the country, behind Eli Ricks of Alabama and Cam Smith of South Carolina. Here is what PFF said about Phillips:
“Phillips took a massive step forward midway through his 2021 campaign. Over his last six games, the 2020 No. 51 overall recruit was the highest-graded outside corner in the country. Phillips allowed 0.34 yards per coverage snap in that span. He finished the season with nine pass breakups, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and 14 passing stops. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound corner has some legit bounce and quicks. His breaks and processing speed shined down the stretch for Utah. Phillips is hands down the top returning corner on the west coast and capable of reaching elite status in 2022.”
Phillips finished the 2021 season with 63 tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, one touchdown and 13 pass breakups.
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.
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