Utah football’s Clark Phillips III clinches unanimous All-American status

The third-year sophomore cornerback is the Utes’ fourth-ever unanimous All-American, but the program’s first on offense or defense.

(Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP) Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III (1) sets up for a play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla.

Clark Phillips III will leave the University of Utah having accomplished something no other Ute position player has.

Two days after declaring for the NFL Draft, the third-year sophomore cornerback on Wednesday was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

The AFCA designation clinches unanimous All-America status for Phillips III, making him the fourth-ever Ute to receive that honor, but the first at either offense or defense. Phillips III joins kicker Louie Sakoda (2008), and punters Tom Hackett (2015) and Mitch Wishnowsky as unanimous All-Americans at Utah.

Since 2002, the NCAA has recognized the All-America teams as determined by the Associated Press, the Walter Camp Foundation, the Football Writers Association of American, The Sporting News, and the AFCA when determining unanimous All-Americans. Any player receiving first-team designations from all five organizations is considered a unanimous All-American. At least three first-team nods out of the five means a player is a consensus All-American. Phillips III was named a first-team All-American by the other four in the days leading up to Wednesday.

In conjunction with his NFL Draft announcement, it was revealed that Phillips III will not play in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2 vs. Penn State. He finishes his career with nine interceptions, including six this season, which is tied for second nationally. His four career interceptions returned for touchdowns are tied for the program record with former All-Mountain West Andre Dyson.

The highest-rated recruit in program history, Phillips III started in all 31 games he played in dating back to the COVID-shortened 2020 season, which included his first career interception, a pick-six in the season-finale vs. Washington State.