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While Utah's secondary was plagued with injury late this last season, the group has had plenty of time to recover and are on track to be one of the best units in the Pac-12 Conference.

With that being said, its important to note where each individual player ranks amongst the rest of the talent, and what their contributions may look like for the 2022 season.

To no surprise, not only is Clark Phillips III the best corner on Utah's roster, but he's also one of the top defenders, which he consistently proved throughout last season. Over the course of the year, Phillips finished the season with 63 total tackles for third most on the team while leading the defense with 13 pass break-ups and finishing second behind Devin Lloyd with two interceptions.

For his efforts, Phillips was named to the Associated Press Pac-12 All-Conference Second Team, the Pac-12 All-Conference Second Team and was atop freshmen in the league with 11 passes defended during conference play. He was also ranked No. 3 on PFF’s list of top 10 returning corners as over his last six games he was the highest-graded outside corner in the country.

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Phillips made incredible strides this last season and demonstrated elite defensive abilities as he took on some of the most difficult assignments in all of college football. Not only did he handle those situations with a veteran-like-demeanor but he orchestrated some of the season's biggest plays. With his disciplined body control, ability to quickly change direction and pester offenses by making plays without interfering, Phillips is not far off from an NFL career.

As for 2022, the third-year defender has the opportunity to be the face of the Utah defense in what should be his final season in a Utes uniform. With the departure of several notable leaders from last years squad, Phillips should be on track to step into the spotlight, leading the defense by example and with his voice. As long he remains healthy, Phillips should also see a slight increase in terms of production as he builds upon his stellar 2021 campaign.

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