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3 Utah players and a BYU player appear on ESPN’s 2022 Top 100 college football players list

SHARE 3 Utah players and a BYU player appear on ESPN’s 2022 Top 100 college football players list
Utah Utes cornerback Clark Phillips III (1) steps in front of Oregon State Beavers wide receiver John Dunmore (14) for a pick six as Utah and Oregon State play at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.

Utah Utes cornerback Clark Phillips III (1) steps in front of Oregon State Beavers wide receiver John Dunmore (14) for a pick six as Utah and Oregon State play at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The 2022 college football season came to a close on Monday night, as Georgia beat TCU to win its second straight national championship.

The end of the season brings plenty of year-end discussion, from the final Associated Press poll to season retrospectives to way-too-early Top 25 rankings.

ESPN recently published its top 100 college football players of the 2022 season, and it includes three Utah players and a BYU player.

Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III checks in at No. 15, ESPN’s highest ranking for a local player this season.

Phillips III is one of the top cornerbacks in the upcoming NFL draft and could hear his name called on the first day. He had six interceptions in 2022 and was widely considered Utah’s best defender.

Here’s what ESPN had to say about him:

A unanimous All-American, Phillips III ranked tied for third in the country (first among Power 5 players) with six interceptions — half of which came against Oregon State in one of the best defensive performances in college football this season. Phillips III was the AP Defensive Player of the Year, and a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. He is ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s No. 6-ranked draft-eligible cornerback.

No. 22 on the list is Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid, another potential NFL draft pick.He was a focal point of Utah’s offense, with 70 receptions for 890 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s one of the highest-graded tight ends by Pro Football Focus.

Here’s what ESPN had to say about him:

After Brant Kuithe’s season-ending injury, Kincaid quickly emerged as one of the best tight ends in the country, leading FBS tight ends in receiving yards (890). He also led the Utes in receptions (70) and receiving touchdowns (8) as they reached the Rose Bowl for the second straight season.

Utah quarterback Cameron Rising is slotted at No. 53. Rising will return to Utah for another season after rehabbing an injury sustained in the second half of this year’s Rose Bowl loss to Penn State.

Rising captained Utah’s offense, throwing for 3,034 yards and 26 touchdowns with a 64.7% completion rate and rushed for six scores.

He’ll be back for his third full season at the helm in 2023.

Here’s what ESPN had to say about him:

Rising will go down as an all-time great Ute after guiding Utah to back-to-back Rose Bowls. He was at his best in a pair of wins against USC — including a rout in the Pac-12 title game — throwing for 725 yards with five touchdowns in those games with three rushing touchdowns. After being named first-team All-Pac-12 last season, he was an honorable mention choice in 2022.

BYU offensive lineman Clark Barrington had another good year as the mainstay on the Cougars’ offensive line, starting every game at left guard for BYU. Per PFF, he has only allowed two sacks in 40 games started.

Instead of electing to go to the NFL draft, Barrington hit the transfer portal. He will reunite with former Cougar offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes at Baylor.

Here’s what ESPN had to say about Barrington:

It was an injury-plagued season for the Cougars, but Barrington, a junior left guard from Spokane, Washington, was a constant. He was one of just three players to start in all 13 games, and he allowed only three pass pressures (with one sack), blew three run blocks and committed two total penalties all season. He was a constant for a team that desperately needed one.