Utah CB Clark Phillips III warns national media ahead of 2022 season

SALT LAKE CITY –After a strong finish to the 2021 season, Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III has warned some in the national media about his potential with the Utes.

Clark Phillips has made big plays all season for Utah football, but has taken it to another level in the last two games. In the Pac-12 Championship game against Oregon, Phillips made an athletic play to break up a pass on fourth down that essentially sealed the Utes victory.

Then in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State, Phillips had five tackles, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and an interception.

National media release their list of screenings heading into the 2022 season. Two particular lists were released this week that mentioned Phillips.

CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli posted a story of a preview of the top 20 college football players eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft. It’s among every player in the country, not just the cornerback position. Fornelli placed Phillips at No. 11 as the highest-ranked player on the Pac-12 roster.

Here’s what Fornelli said about Phillips:

“The former four-star rookie was a big win for coach Kyle Whittingham and the Utes on the recruiting track, and he’s paid big since. Phillips’ ability to cover and assist against the run has been a big part of Utah’s overall success, and it will continue to be a reason NFL teams will consider him a possible No. 1 corner at the next level.

Pro Football Focus (PFF) has released its list of the top 10 returning cornerbacks in college football for the 2022 season.

On that list, Phillips came in at No. 3 in the nation, behind Eli Ricks of Alabama and Cam Smith of South Carolina. Here’s what PFF had to say about Phillips:

“Phillips took a big step forward midway through his 2021 campaign. In his last six games, the No. 51 rookie in 2020 was the highest-ranked outside corner in the nation. Phillips allowed 0.34 yards per slam of coverage during that span. He finished the season with nine pass breakups, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and 14 pass saves. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound corner has legit rebounds and quicks. His breaks and his processing speed shone throughout the stretch for Utah. Phillips is hands down the best 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 the 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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