Clark Phillips III Continues To Earn Preseason Praise
SALT LAKE CITY– Summer rages on with the promise of college football in the fall, until then though everyone gives their best predictions as to what will happen in the coming season. Utah football still appears to be a dark horse favorite for the College Football Playoff, while Clark Phillips III continues to be recognized as one of the best football players the college game has to offer.
Both Pick Six College Football and Pro Football Focus recently sang Phillips’ praises. Pick Six had him listed as one of the best players in college football by position, while PFF reminded everyone that Phillips led the Pac-12 in forced incompletions with 11.
Phillips and Utah
Last season Phillips was a key figure for a very young Utah defense while only being a “freshman” himself due to the extra Covid-19 year. Phillips ended up being the only starting cornerback for the Utes to make it through the entire 2021 season giving him lots of valuable reps to take into the 2022 season.
In 2021 Phillips was named to the Associated Press Pac-12 All-Conference Second Team and the Pac-12 Second Team. He was also one of three active Pac-12 players with multiple pick-sixes, both of which came against Washington State.
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For the entire 2021 season Phillips recorded 63 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, 13 pass breakups and two interceptions. One of his most impressive performances came in Utah’s first Rose Bowl appearance against Ohio State. Phillips accounted for five tackles, a forced fumble, interception, and one pass breakup in that game against a very prolific offense.
CPIII And The NFL
When Phillips committed to Utah it was largely known he wanted to follow the same career trajectory as another former Utah cornerback, Jaylon Johnson. Play three years, get a degree and go to the NFL. By all accounts it appears Phillips is well on his way to accomplishing that goal with a final good year in 2022.
If Phillips performs the way many anticipate he will, early projections have him as a potential first or second rounder in the 2023 NFL Draft.
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