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Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III announces future plans

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Utah Utes cornerback Clark Phillips III glides into the end zone after intercepting a pass against Oregon State.

Utah Utes cornerback Clark Phillips III (1) glides into the end zone for a touchdown after intercepting a pass against Oregon State at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

As was widely expected, Utah Utes star cornerback Clark Phillips III announced on social media Monday that he will forego his remaining college eligibility and enter the 2023 NFL draft.

Phillips did not specify whether he will play in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2, although the timing of his announcement is an indication that he will not play and his father retweeted a tweet indicating that he will not play.

Phillips arrived in Utah from La Habra, California, as a very highly touted prospect in the class of 2020, and was committed to Ohio State before changing his mind late in the recruiting process and choosing the Utes.

The 5-foot-10, 183-pounder has been fantastic from the beginning. He has started all 31 games of his career and has garnered numerous national and Pac-12 honors as he has tallied nine interceptions (four of which he’s returned for touchdowns), 112 tackles and 30 passes defended.

On Monday just prior to his announcement, Phillips was named a first-team All-American by The Associated Press.

It marks the third official All-American award he has received this offseason, giving him consensus status. He becomes the 11th player in Utes history to garner consensus status, with two more teams yet to be announced.

Should he be named to those two All-America teams, Phillips would garner unanimous status.

Phillips is widely considered to be a potential late first-round pick or early second-round pick in the draft, which will be held April 27-29 of next year.

ESPN, for example, has him ranked as the 29th-best prospect, while Pro Football Focus has him at No. 36 (there are 32 picks in the first round).

“Phillips always seems to be around the football. ... At only 5-foot-10, 183 pounds, his size will be his biggest concern coming out,” PFF’s Mike Renner has written of Phillips.

Phillips joins teammates Tavion Thomas and Dalton Kincaid (who was named a third-team All-American by the AP on Monday) as Utes who have declared for the draft.