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Clark Phillips III Named Finalist For Jim Thorpe Award


American football

OKLAHOMA CITY University of Utah Football cornerback Clark Phillips III has been named a finalist for the 2022 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, given to the best defensive back in college football.

Phillips is one of three finalists and Utah’s first finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award in the program’s history. The winner is chosen by members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), the award’s national committee, past winners, and sports writers from across the country.

The winner will be announced live on December 8 at The Home Depot College Football Awards, with the official ceremony in Oklahoma City at a later date. A fan voice opens at 11am today and closes at 9pm on Saturday, December 3.

This season, the Lakewood, California native has 23 tackles (2.0 TFL, 1.0 sack) and is tied for the national lead with six interceptions, with his two pick sixes being the second most in the nation. His eleven passes defensed (6 INT, 5 PBUs) all came in Pac-12 play, tying for first place in the league.

He earned national praise for his performance against Oregon State, recording three interceptions, including a 38-yard pick-six. His three picks against the Beavers are tied for the most in a game this season by a Power Five player, and also led the Pac-12 in interceptions in one game this season.

Following his performance of three interceptions and three tackles against Oregon State, he made two stops and an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown at UCLA. His 142 interception return yards this season ranks fourth nationally.

Phillips also recorded a season-high four tackles in Utah’s win over USC, picking up his first career sack for an eight-yard loss while contributing to two pass breakups.

Phillips has started in every game he has appeared in (30), recording a career-high nine interceptions with four pick sixes. He is one of only two Power Five players with four career interceptions to have returned for touchdowns, and is the only active player in the Pac-12 to accomplish the feat.

Clark Phillips III Awards and honors for 2022

  • Jim Thorpe Award Finalist (November 29)
  • Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalist (Nov. 1)
  • Semifinalist Jim Thorpe Award (October 24)
  • Midseason All-America (AP, CBS Sports, College Football Network, Pro Football Focus, Sporting News, The Athletic)
  • Jim Thorpe Award Player of the Week (October 6)
  • Chuck Bednarik Award Defensive Player of the Week (October 4)
  • PFF Team of the Week (October 3)
  • Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week (October 3)
  • Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week (Oct 2)
  • Bronko Nagurski Trophy Preseason Watch List
  • Chuck Bednarik Award Preseason Watch List
  • Preseason All-America (AP; Athlon Sports; Phil Steele; Pro Football Focus; Pro Football Network; Walter Camp)


Follow the Utes on social media to get an inside look at the Utah Football program (Twitter: @Utah_Football | Instagram: @UtahFootball | Facebook: Search Utah Football), and visit for news, schedule- and roster updates throughout the season.




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