SPORTS

Clark Phillips III, Keenan Pili On Chuck Bednarik Watch List

Aug 1, 2022, 9:59 AM | Updated: 12:40 pm
BYU - Utah - Jaren Hall...
Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall gets pushed by Utah Utes cornerback Clark Phillips III during the second half of an NCAA college football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. BYU won 26-17. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)
(Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY- More great news for local Utah athletes Monday morning as Utah’s Clark Phillips III and BYU’s Keenan Pili both made the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award. The Bednarik award is given to the defensive player of the year whose namesake is in both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The award is presented by the Maxwell Football Club, the oldest football organization in America founded in 1935. Semifinalists for the award will be determined on November 1st and will be whittled down to three finalists by November 22nd. The winner will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Award Show on December 8th on ESPN with the formal presentation happening on March 10th, 2023 in Atlantic City during the 86th Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala.

About Clark Phillips III, Keenan Pili

Clark Phillips III has been a starter since he arrived on Utah’s campus in 2020, hitting the ground running even in a shortened Covid-19 season. 2021 was a season that didn’t disappoint with Phillips III earning All-Pac-12 honors. Phillips III recorded 63 total tackles in 2021, 13 pass breakups, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. He ended the year as one of three active Pac-12 players with multiple pick-sixes through their career.

Keenan Pili unfortunately missed most of 2021, suffering a season-ending injury just three games in for the Cougars. Before the injury derailed his season, Pili was responsible 31 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery in just three games. Pili had a great season in 2020 where he was second on the team in tackles with 72, two tackles for a loss, and a fumble recovery.

Big Seasons Ahead

Both Utah and BYU are poised for big seasons in 2022, having had several of their players recognized early on as “guys to watch”. They also have been talked about on a national scale as teams that could shake up the College Football Hierarchy in 2022. Utah and BYU are set to start their seasons on the road in Florida on September 3rd with the Utes taking on the Gators in Gainesville, and the Cougars coming for the USF Bulls in Tampa.

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