Utah Football’s CPIII Named AP’s Defensive Player Of The Year For Pac-12
SALT LAKE CITY- Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III was a force to be reckoned with in the Pac-12 for the 2022 season. The talented corner was a major reason for the Utes’ success down the stretch, keeping things on lock. The AP named CPIII their Defensive Player of the Year for the Pac-12 for his efforts in getting Utah football their second straight Pac-12 Title and visit to the Rose Bowl.
BREAKING: USC QB Caleb Williams is the unanimous choice as the AP player of the year in the Pac-12.
Utah CB Clark Phillips III was named defensive player of the year and Washington coach Kalen DeBoer earned coach of the year.
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) December 8, 2022
USC’s Caleb Williams was recognized as the AP’s Player of the Year for the Pac-12, while first-year head coach for Washington, Kalen DeBoer was named the Coach of the Year.
CPIII, Another All-Time Great For Utah’s Defense
Clark Phillips III arrived on Utah’s campus in 2020 as a freshman with his mind set on implementing the Jaylon Johnson plan: play for three years, win all the awards, graduate and go to the NFL. Check, check, check, yet-to-be-determined, but almost certainly check.
CPIII quickly earned the approval of Utah fans everywhere with his ability to sniff out the ball and take it to the house pretty much from the start of his career. However, Phillips III really put himself on the map last season on a national scale by keeping Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud and their stable of receivers at bay in Utah’s first-ever Rose Bowl appearance.
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Since that performance, Phillips III has been on NFL scout’s radars, and he hasn’t disappointed in his final season at Utah earning himself a potential first-round Draft grade. CPIII is currently tied for second in the nation with interceptions in 2022 with six to his name.
Phillips III’s efforts in 2022 for Utah’s defense have made him a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the best defensive back, and a semi-finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player in the country.
Phillips III was named earlier in the week to the Pac-12’s First-Team while making various other media outlets’ post-season honors.
Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports
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