SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham wasn’t kidding when he concluded Wednesday’s National Signing Day press conference with two words: “Stay tuned.”

“I’m excited about the opportunity to make an impact on a defense that is top five nationally and that was just a game away from playing in the college football playoffs.” — Clark Phillips III

On Thursday, the Utes made quite a haul by adding several highly touted recruits to their 2020 class. The signees included cornerback Clark Phillips III, who flipped his commitment from Ohio State to Utah, as well as two other four-star recruits — Hawaii offensive lineman Solatoa Moea’i and Juan Diego defensive lineman Xavier Carlton. 

Phillips, who is considered to be the No. 4 cornerback in the nation by 247 Sports, is believed to be the most highly rated prospect (No. 47 overall) the Utes have ever signed. The 5-foot-10, 178-pound defensive back from California intercepted 13 passes during his three-year career at La Habra High School. He’s also a skilled receiver (29 touchdowns over his junior and senior seasons) and return specialist.

“I sincerely appreciate everyone who recruited me throughout this process,” Phillips said via Twitter. “It has been a blessing. Go Utes!”

Phillips explained his decision for the switch to 247 Sports.

“They were one of my first offers and have been involved with me since I was a freshman,” he said. “That whole staff has been a constant for me since freshman year and I have great relationships with them. That relationship has continued to grow and I have a clear vision of how I fit in to their system.”

Utah cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah was the lead recruiter on Phillips and obviously made quite an impression. The Utes have vacancies to fill in the secondary. Junior cornerback Jaylon Johnson has already announced that he’s entering the NFL draft. On the other side, Tareke Lewis and Josh Nurse are seniors.

“I’m really excited about working with coach Shah and the rest of the staff,” Phillips continued. “I’m excited about the opportunity to make an impact on a defense that is top five nationally and that was just a game away from playing in the college football playoffs.”

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Phillips, who committed to Ohio State in June, wasn’t finished talking about his collegiate destination.

“This is a program that is trending up for sure and hopefully with me and the rest of this 2020 class coming, we can build on that success,” he added. “I’m enrolling early, I’ll be there on Jan. 6 and I’ll be ready to compete.”

Utah’s banner day also included the signing of Carlton (6-6, 259) and Moea’i (6-4, 290). 

— Carlton (6-6, 259) had 91 tackles and eight sacks as a senior at Juan Diego. He played his first two seasons of high school ball in California — tallying 163 tackles and 12.5 sacks. Carlton’s father Demetrius played for Utah in the late 1980s. 

— Moea’i (6-4, 293), who played for Punahou High School, chose the Utes over offers from Arizona State, BYU, Hawaii and Nebraska, according to 247 Sports.

Wide receiver Connor O’Toole (6-4, 207), a prep standout in New Mexico, is also a prized addition for Utah. The Utes have now signed 21 players, including five returned missionaries and a graduate transfer in South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley.

2020 Utah football signees

QB Jake Bentley (South Carolina)

DL Xavier Carlton (Juan Diego HS)

LB Graham Faloona (Southlake Carroll HS, Texas)

DL Van Fillinger (Corner Canyon HS)

LB Sione Fotu (Bingham HS)

OL Alex Harrison (Viewmont HS)

RB Ty Jordan (West Mesquite HS, Texas)

OL Jaren Kump (Herriman HS)

S Kamo’i Latu (St. Louis HS, Hawaii)

OL Hunter Lotulelei (Highland HS)

OL Solatoa Moea’i (Punahou HS, Hawaii)

WR Connor O’Toole (La Cueva HS, N.M.)

WR Money Parks (Aledo HS, Texas)

CB Clark Phillips III (La Habra HS, Calif.)

DL Taniela Pututau (Cottonwood HS)

DL Tennessee Pututau (East HS) 

S Ben Renfro (Magnolia HS, Texas)

S Nate Ritchie (Lone Peak HS)

CB Caine Savage (Western HS, Calif.)

DL Aliki Vimahi (Kahuku HS, Hawaii)

DL Tyler Wegis (San Juan Hills HS, Calif.)