Utah's Clark Phillips III named a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist
Utah’s Clark Phillips III has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the 2022 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, announced by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame on Monday.
Phillips is one of the country’s very best corners, and he becomes the Utes’ first semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award since Eric Weddle in 2006. The award is given annually to the best defensive back in college football.
He’s joined on the list of semifinalists by Tennessee’s Trevon Flowers, Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes, Pitt’s Erick Hallett II, TCU Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, Texas A&M’s Antonio Johnson, Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr., Ohio State’s Lathan Ransom, Nevada’s Bentlee Sanders, Georgia’s Christopher Smith, Oklahoma State’s Jason Taylor II, and Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon.
— Paycom Jim Thorpe Award (@jimthorpeaward) October 24, 2022
Three finalists will be selected on Tuesday, Nov. 29, while the winner will be announced on Dec. 8 live on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards show.
Phillips has started in every game since coming to campus (26), earning Pac-12 All-Conference honors in 2021. The Lakewood, Calif., native has eight career interceptions, including a school-record-tying four returned for touchdowns.
This season, Phillips is tied for the national lead with five interceptions (two pick-sixes). He’s one of the 20 highest-graded FBS defensive backs in coverage this season (per PFF). He’s been targeted more than 40 times this season and has only allowed two touchdowns.
He earned national praise for his performance in a 42-16 win over Oregon State on Oct. 1 by becoming the first Utah defender to record three interceptions in a single game since 2009.