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PPDC 58 | Champions In Our Lives

 

We are shaped by the people closest to us. For Utah Football star Clark Phillips III, the lessons he learned from his parents made him the elite athlete he is now. In this episode, he gives us a glimpse into how he was raised by his amazing parents, imparting the wisdom he gained that informed the person he is and the life he has off and on the field. Clark shares how he prepares physically, mentally, and emotionally to play the most stressful and demanding position on a football team: cornerback. Through it all, he teaches us how to rise to the occasion on every play and become the champions we need to be in our own lives. Life is so full of lessons. You don’t need to look any further for them. Let Clark impart them to you in this conversation.

Clark Phillips III Teaches Us How To Rise To The Occasion On Every Play And Become The Champions We Need To Be In Our Own Lives

In this episode, University of Utah Football Star, Clark Phillips III, The La Habra California High School four-star recruit rated the number four cornerback in America, two-time All-CIF, three-time All-Orange County Defensive Player of the Year, and an All-USA First-Team selection shares his life off and on the field.

As a gentleman and the son of a preacher man giving us an inside glimpse into how he was raised by his amazing parents and how he prepares physically, mentally, and emotionally to play the most stressful and demanding position on a football team. A cornerback, a shutdown man-to-man cornerback defensive back, teaching us how we too can also rise to the occasion on every play and become the champions we need to be in our industries for our families, for our businesses, and our world.

Welcome to the show, Clark Phillips.

Thank you for having me. I can’t appreciate that introduction enough. That was super strong. I questioned whether that was even me that you were introducing. I appreciate it.

You’re so humble. At the University of Utah, a division one school in the Pac-12, for those of you who haven’t followed us lately, we compete against amazing schools like USC, Oregon, UCLA, Arizona State, and some of the great iconic programs in the country. We’re always competing with the biggest-name schools that have the largest programs in the country for elite athletes.

Coming out of La Habra High School down there in Orange County, California, Clark Phillips was a two-time all-CIF, which is all-world basically because you live in California. He was a four-star recruit. He’s the highest-rated recruit that we’ve ever gone after and landed at the University of Utah in the history of our athletic program. Clark, let’s cut right to the chase. What we understand is that on signing day, where we sign our letter of intent, 6he rumor on the street was that you were headed to Ohio State. Is that correct?

That’s true.

What made you change your mind and swap your four-year future to come to the mountains of Utah and partake of our amazing quality of life and the huge fan base that all love, adore, and admire you?

Early on, it was a coaching change. Some weeks out, really about months out before signing day, then it was me doing more of my homework on my own. My dad doing his homework at the University of Utah and them staying engaged the entire time. Even while I was committed to Ohio State, I was still talking to Coach Shah and Coach Whit. I still had those relationships and they were still active and engaged with me. As soon as any type of uncertainty came with my other program at Ohio State, I felt good about things. I gave them the word that I was thinking about it and come signing day, I was ready to make that decision and the rest is history.

I love it and we honor you. It’s so cool to see the gentleman out of his helmet. Our seats are on the 50-yard line front row and he is such a superstar. With my wife and my daughters who have a crush on you, they never get to see the million-dollar smile and see the humility and the great personality that you bring to the table.

We’re all curious about how you were raised by your amazing parents. Your dad’s name is Clark. Your amazing mother’s name is Lakeisha. Tell us about how you were raised. One thing maybe that you learned from your dad and one thing that you learned from your mom that has made you this competitor and this elite athlete that you are. Not just on the field but the gentleman off the field.

My parents were a one-two punch. They were both resilient in their style of teaching and loving. My mom, I started with her. She taught me how to love and be affectionate in everything, whether that’s relationships, football, or whatever. Do it and do it at a high level and like you do love it. That’s why I say be affectionate.

That’s one of the things that I feel can carry over to every part of life, every aspect of it, and something that I’m always thinking about and trying to be cognizant of. Everything I do, I try to do it to the highest level and to the best of my ability. Something that my dad taught me was, “Be a hard worker and do everything with a resilient spirit.” I say that because sometimes, you’ll go through things or hit a brick wall in a sense.

For instance, we lost and we feel like we hit a brick wall. Similar to last season, we lost to Oregon State. We had to re-evaluate things and re-establish who we are as a team. I say be resilient because you have to continue to go, fight, and be the best. Dominate every single thing. Another thing was the faith piece of it. My dad is a pastor. He’s been a pastor since I was young. That’s another thing that he’s instilled in me and my other siblings as well and something that will always stick with me.

From a football player’s perspective, the offense has the advantage. They know the play, where they’re going, and the snap count. The defensive line and the linebackers, we had the advantage of using our hands and fighting against the pressure that would basically take us to where the ball was going. As a defensive back, especially as a cornerback, that is the toughest, the most stressful position on the entire field. Why in the world with your athleticism would you settle on choosing the toughest position to play on any team on every single game day?

It goes back to you football for me. I played a lot of running back growing up. As the game shifted to more of a 7-on-7 throw ball style of game, my dad ended up telling me and my brother, “I think this is where you’re going to make your money.” Me and my brother both running backs at the time. I looked at him like, “Dad, I don’t know about that.” Usually, in youth football, the corner kid was okay.

In the running back and the quarterback, your score touchdowns. You’re the guy. We didn’t understand it then but as soon as we made the transition after 9th grade, the year of my high school at St. John Bosco, that’s the first school I started at, I fell in love with it. I fell in love with the techniques, the idea of guarding the best guy on the field, having to stop him from scoring, completing passes, and all of that stuff. That was something that I gained a love for early on in high school.

PPDC 58 | Champions In Our Lives

Champions In Our Lives: I fell in love with the techniques, the idea of guarding the best guy on the field, having to stop him from scoring, completing passes, and all of that stuff.

 

I understood that it was the hardest position in the world. I’m on the field in my second year of high school when we ended up both going to La Habra High School. Me and my brother wanted to play together. That was something that we both got to do. We did it at a high level. We both played aa outside cornerbacks. It was special and an experience I’ll never forget.

After this last game, the loss against UCLA and this show is evergreen. This might be read ten years from now but in a key pivotal game in the Pac-12, the University of Utah was, I don’t know if they were beaten or defeated by UCLA. The classic line is time ran out but you didn’t lose. You had to Pac-6 at the end of the game. Usually, that’s up for a celebration. As I was watching the game, your head was down. It was non-emotional. You almost rolled the ball back to the referee. There was no celebration.

In that moment, I wrote down one of my favorite quotes that define Clark Phillips. A champion is only a champion when losing hurts worse than winning feels good. When I could see that with my brothers and all of our fan base that is focused and locked in on every play that you perform because you always play at the highest level and you never take a playoff. I couldn’t help but get emotional and say, “Now I know who Clark Phillips is.” Where did you learn that sense of, “You better give everything you’ve got unless it would be sufficient. You better play like it’s your last play because you might not ever get another one?”

That was strong and deep. I’d say my upbringing. It was the foundation of my father and my mother. I even give it to my younger siblings that they even established in me. We’re a competitive household and we wanted to win at everything. From me and my brother being fourteen months apart, we competed at everything. It could have been who’s going to get to the laundry room the fastest to do it. I’m getting my clothes in there before you because I want my clothes cleaned for tomorrow.

It was everything. I feel like us having those values and us being competitive in everything makes those moments so hard. Even though I’m bringing up that play and I had a big play, it should have been a big moment. It felt like it was all for nothing and it broke me even more that I couldn’t do it sooner and we were still losing the game. That’s why every single time I was asked about it or congratulated for a game, I was like, “We didn’t win the game.” win the game.

It was even more frustrating and painful being in the end zone. Looking back at the sideline and seeing the hopelessness of like, “This doesn’t do anything.” That broke me a little bit. It’s the same as you. I got emotional in that moment too. My teammates came over and they were like, “Good job. You’re a warrior.” I’m like, “I apologize, fellas. I should have done this sooner.” It all works for the good of his purpose.

Do you agree that pain is a signal to grow not to suffer? Once we learn the lesson, the pain is teaching us and the pain goes away. In life, there are no mistakes, only lessons. In a game, there are no mistakes, only lessons. What did you learn from that as an individual? What did you think is a collective team from the loss to UCLA?

Coach Scalley always tells us, “Do it now so that you can reap the benefits later. Is it the pain of discipline or the pain of regret? You don’t want to be in those big games and moments regretting some things.” I feel like we do things right in practice and throughout the week then we celebrate on Saturday. We’re dominating. Now we’re celebrating big victories.

We couldn’t celebrate that Pac-6 because it was the pain of regret. We didn’t do enough, whatever we were supposed to do during the week to come out with the victory. That’s why we couldn’t celebrate the end zone after that Pac-6 versus the week prior to that Pac-6. We were all happy. It was like, “Let’s do it. We made it. We did it. We dominated this week of practice and these guys across from us and now we can celebrate.” That one was not fulfilling because we had the pain of regret in that instance.

I love quotes. Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion. You fall to your level of preparation. You fall to your level of training, which means the pressure is not something that’s naturally there. It’s created when you question your own ability. When you know what you’ve been trained to do, there’s never any pressure.

That’s why we train and practice so hard. What do you do to increase, focus in, or celebrate your physical preparation, your mental toughness, and your emotional resiliency that you can teach those of us who are now fans and no longer play on the field in the world of business, in family life, in school, fellow teammates, and fellow classmates? Teach us what you do to increase that mental toughness, prepare yourself physically, and make sure you have that emotional stability no matter what.

I try to start with a lot of meditation and visualization. That’s been a big part of my process. I started doing yoga when I got out here to Utah. Hot yoga in specifics. I feel like that’s been a big key factor in me building that emotion and resilience as well. That fortitude to be able to go through some uncomfortable things.

Being in a hot yoga sauna is tough while you’re doing rigorous exercises and different stretches that push you to your limit in a way then you’re doing it at 130 degrees. It’s a lot tougher to do that type of thing for a long period of time. I feel like I tried to prepare myself week in and week out to be emotionally capable and put myself in those situations of, “I’m uncomfortable. This is hard. I’m tired.”

To be able to think clearly in those situations, that’s where I’ve tried to focus my game on and focus my energy in 2021 on specifics. 2019 is when I started doing yoga but that’s been something that I try to focus on. In yoga, I say visualization and meditation is something that I do daily. It’s starting off my day. I’ll start off by waking up, saying my prayer, and brushing my teeth then I’m visualizing everything I got planned for the day.

I got a nice whiteboard. It sounds like kindergarten but I write everything down from the scripture of the week and the different goals that I want to accomplish throughout the day. It starts off with that then weekly goals, monthly goals, and what are my season goals? Those go on and on. I feel like the closer look that I get to my goals daily, it will set me up to be more satisfied at the end of it all. I can stay on track and not feel like I’m falling behind, especially in a season that we know it’s so long.

The closer look I get at my goals daily sets me up to be more than satisfied at the end of it all, so I can stay on track and not feel like I'm falling behind. Click To Tweet

In football and sports, we have to believe that no matter what your past has been, you have a spotless future. You can’t always control what happens but you can always control what happens now. Let’s say you got burned for a first down. What do you do mentally and emotionally to respond immediately because, in 25 to 30 seconds, there’s going to be another snap? You better not wallow in your misery and cry over spilled milk. You got to fire back up. Teach us what you do to immediately let go of the past, learn the lesson and cinch it back up cowboy up and fire up because you have to. You have no other choice. Teach us.

Playing corner, as you said earlier, is a difficult position. You have to have probably the most confidence on the field because receivers got to score touchdowns too. Running backs got to score. Who do they score on? DBs. For me, rather than trying to lie to myself, I try to build it on a solid foundation of real confidence and all the work that I’ve put in.

For all the work that I put in throughout the week, I have supreme confidence when I go out there that I’m doing my job. I’m doing what I’ve been doing. The 10,000 rep rule is something that I read in the book. It’s 10,000 hours of everything. For me, I’m playing through my technique and I’m playing the reps that I’ve already acquired and accomplished. Now, we’re putting it on film. I try to tell myself, “It’s nothing that this guy did that’s amazing. It’s what I did. I didn’t have good technique.” I got beat on a quick slant for a touchdown and that broke me.

For me, it’s like, “I didn’t slide inside.” I didn’t play my technique. I jumped the wrong route. It’s never, “That guy made a crazy play. He’s Odell Beckham.” I did that. That’s on me and I’m going to be better. I put the magnifying glass on myself before I give anybody. They get credit but it’s not like, “He’s not Superman.” It’s more like, “I messed that up.” You can make a one-handed catch with two fingers. I’m like, “You got to shoot through that hand with my right hand. I can’t do that at the top of the route. I got to be better. I got to turn, look, and squeeze them.” It’s always something that I could have done better.

Do you watch a lot of game films to look for a tendency? Do you study a specific receiver that you know you’re going to be locked and loaded on? If you’re in the shutdown corner, you basically know who you’re going to be with the entire day. You’re dancing and going to the restroom with him. Tell us what you’re looking for in a film situation that will give you that competitive advantage.

Everything, even from one receiver to his best friend, the receiver that lines up next to him often, the tight end or the looks that he gives his quarterback after a great completion, or the looks that he gives his quarterback before the ball is snapped. It gives me a good point for, “It might be coming to you,” or third-down situations. I love studying situations. I didn’t learn that until I got here. I always love studying receivers because I pride myself on being a man coverage corner.

When I got up here, Coach Scalley, Coach Shah, and Coach Whit emphasized studying situations. It will put you in the best spot and I credit them to a lot of the plays that I’ve made over the last three seasons because they’ve helped me grow and be able to manifest some of these things. It also helps with great visualization and meditation. Studying formation and situations allows me to, before the game, I’m literally seeing myself in those situations. I’m like, “This is the play I want to make right here. If they do this, I’m going to do this. I’m going to respond.” Being able to see that almost slows it down in a way when you get in those moments.

That’s something that I try to do. It’s something that keeps everything fresh too. Every single player, I feel like I’ve got something coming. I don’t know what it is. It’s almost like a running back and running the ball. I have to relate to that because I used to play running back. Every play, I’m thinking, “This is the play I get to Pac-6 and it’s going to end the game. They’re going to try me right here.” It can be fourth and one and the whole stadium knows that it’s run. If I’ve got a receiver out there, I’m thinking he’s throwing it to me and I’m going to score. That’s the mindset I go into every situation with.

I was appalled at how much of a lack of knowledge there was in the stance after playing for thirteen years. I’m sitting there thinking, “Some of these folks are a little bit stupid.” I would have to take my tactful approach and remind them that not every play is designed to score a touchdown. One thing that I’ve done as a professional speaker and author all these years is to take pride in interviewing the top NFL coaches and the top NCAA coaches.

I’m asking them similar questions that get the common denominator of what they all have because they’re playing, performing, and winning every year at the highest levels, like Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and the folks. They’ve all told me, Clark, that winning and losing boils down to only six plays. If you’re in the car with me driving to the stadium, I’m going to drive you nuts. I’m going to be like, “You got to look for the six plays.” My friends and family say, “Calm down.” When we get to the stadium and we’re sitting there, I was like, “Was that one of the six plays?” They’re like, “Will you have another J dog? Will you calm down?”

On the drive home, we can decide what those six plays were that determined whether or not we won or lost. Meticulously, it pans out almost 100% correct. We can identify the six plays, which means when I go in and work with an NFL team or an NCAA team and I tell them that, I always say, “Will you ever know which are the six plays?” It means you can’t afford to take a playoff. If there are 11 guys on the field and 10 of them are focused and one takes the playoff, that could cost us the championship we know.

How do you focus? I was recruited as a wide receiver DB coming out of high school. As a receiver, you learn certain things to get open and create separation. As a DB, you can take advantage of those. I watch you and you are so amazing because you never take a playoff. You’ve answered that question before I pontificated on the backstory of why you don’t because you know that they might at fourth and one when the stadium thinks they’re going to run it up a gap, you’re saying, “They’re throwing it to my guy.”

Question number one. Can you teach that to other members of your team when they screw up and have their heads down or they haven’t had that resiliency training from these amazing parents at home or the past successes that you’ve had as a superstar football player and everything else you’ve done? The two questions, what do you say to them to get them to stop wallowing in their misery, fire back up that this is the next play and you can’t afford to take a playoff?

Tactfully, you see somebody lazy or winded and you got to say something as a leader on the team to fire them up. Please address those two questions. You’re solid and mentally tough, and now it’s your responsibility on the field to keep your teammates focused because once the game starts, the coach is stuck on the sidelines. Somebody on the field has to make a play. Sometimes, it’s not physical play. It’s an emotional play and you’re there for your teammates. Teach us about that.

Every play is a big one. Every play is the most important play at hand. We talk about getting twelve opportunities guaranteed in NCAA football. Depending on how you get and take those opportunities, you can possibly become bowl eligible or be in playoffs but you got to handle the opportunity at hand. This is the most important game, rep, and play.

I feel like going on a field, being a team that we send a lot of pressure, I’ll go off on ten. We send a lot of pressure. That’s one of our styles with Coach Scalley. Teams often will go hurry-up offense and try to speed things up. What does this do for us? If they get a big play, you’re right back out there. It’s the hoot they make the play on. Now that guy is thinking, “This happened and now they’re about to run another play. I got to look to the sideline and get my call again.” It’s being a part of that.

One of the things I was saying while some of those things were happening is, “I go to war with you every day. I got you, let’s go. I believe and you still trust me. We’re good.” This is the play right here. I was telling Zemaiah Vaughn and Ja’Travis Broughton that every single series we went to the sideline, “We’re about to make the play the game.” We were giving up some big plays and it hurt so bad. I can see it in everyone’s eyes. We’re all feeling it. It happened. He scored or he made a big completion on us but we’re about to make the play the game. Just because we gave that up doesn’t mean we can’t come back and end this thing. Every guy started echoing different things in their own language. It was beautiful. I think it all comes down to love for each other.

Coach Scalley talks about, “We’re not going to be teams and great teams because of individuals or this or that guy is great. It’s going to come down to how much we love each other. How far can we go when our backs are up against the wall? How far can we continue to push when we’ve been punched in the face? Are we going to look around and think around? Who’s here now? Are we going to going to look at each other? We’re fine. We’ve been here before. We’re good. I got faith in you. If you got faith in the next man and the man next to you, we can go a long way.” That’s what I would say to do to encourage and move on. Every play is the biggest play of its own.

We're not going to beat great teams just because of individuals. It's going to come down to how much we love each other. Click To Tweet

Growing up, you, me, your dad, my dad, and every fan have heard the acronym TEAM, Together, Everyone Achieves More. When I’ve had a chance to work with the NFL teams and a lot of the NCAA teams, I’ve reinstated the higher level and belief with a new acronym, FAMILY, Forget About Me, I Love You. I watch you.

When you come off the field, regardless of how quickly you get off, you might be on the offensive side and you communicate with them. You take pride in basically going to the offensive side, congratulating them, and being part of that side. I watch that with you TEAM. Regardless if you’ve won the game or lost again, time ran out. You didn’t lose. You epitomized that FAMILY feel.

Let’s get to more of an intense and class/amusing side of you as we wind our time together. What routine do you have before a game that gets you fired up? When we watched Michael Phelps in the Olympics, he had his headphones on before he dove into the water. We were always curious about what music he was listening to. The question part number one, is there favorite music that you listen to before the game that gets you fired up when you’re getting taped in the training room or whatever the case may be?

This is going to throw you for a turn but I listen to more gospel. I have a song called Hear My Cry by Fred Hammond. It calms me down and it slows the temperament of my spirit. It gets my mind all the way dialed in and like, “We’ve been here before.” It reminds me I’m superstitious but I’ve tried to break some of my superstitions because I don’t want to allow them to mess me up. There are a couple of things that I do consistently. The night before a game, it’s that Epsom salt bath that I visualize and I’m listening to music. I’m making my rounds and calling my brother. He plays at Tennessee State. He’s a cornerback as well.

We’ll call the night before and we’ll say our prayer together. I say my prayer first, he says his and we’re like, “What are you thinking? I’m thinking I’m going to have to pick. I’m thinking this and this receiver is tall.” It then leads up to slowing my team to say, “We’ve been here before. This is what we do.” I feel like having those sets of things that I consistently do makes every single situation feel familiar. That’s something that resonates with me. No matter the game, the situation, if it’s a championship, the first game, or the season opener, it’s like, “We’ve been here before. We’re good. This is what we do.” As we get off the bus and as I walk onto the turf, grass, or stadium, I listen to that song again before I turn on any other music that’s hype. It’s like, “We’re good. We’re here. This is our song, Hear My Cry. Let’s play.”

PPDC 58 | Champions In Our Lives

Champions In Our Lives: Having those set of things you consistently do makes every single situation feel familiar.

 

What’s your favorite movie or Netflix special that would give us the inside scoop on what entertains you?

I watch anime. It’s crazy because I used to tease some of my friends in middle school in my freshman year of high school. I’m like, “Why do you guys watch this stuff?” A couple of them are like, “What is cool about this?” When I started watching it, I’m like, “This stuff is so cool. This is sick.” The first one that I started watching and I can watch it any week, any day is called Baki.

My dad used to call me Baki in my senior year of high school because he used to always catch me watching it. It even got to a point where my family would tease me. My brother started watching it and they’re like, “Why are you watching it? Is that like an adult cartoon?” I’m like, “It’s anime,” with a straight face. I’m all serious.

I’ll go into a brief description of who Baki is. I understood him the most when I was a senior because similar to me, he was seventeen years old. He was built like a rock. He was fast, strong, and super smart. There are all these ethical dilemmas within the show between his girlfriend and parents. He’s the strongest.

Everyone inside this show wants to be the strongest ever. His dad is the strongest in the world so he aspires to be the strongest in the world. He lives with his dad and he is like, “Dad, I want to be the strongest.” He is asking him for tips. It’s a great show. Shout out to Baki. He gave me motivation throughout high school and things. That’s something that I watched.

What’s your favorite food? There’s the second part of the question. If you are left in your apartment or your home, what’s the default meal that you cook for yourself?

It has to be some carne side of tacos. It’s got to have some green onions, white onions, and a little bit of green sauce. Maybe some guac for maybe 1 or 2 bites on the side. The default meal, which is easy, quick, and simple would probably be a PB and J sandwich. It’s to-go. I have a meal plan with 1%. They got some good protein-filled meals. I promise you I’m not trying to shout them out but they give me some nice meals and everything.

We’re winding down our time. How do people follow you if anybody is interested in the NIL opportunities because you’re such a smart, intelligent, crazy competitive gentleman?

I appreciate it.

You’re going to have an awful lot of opportunities out there. I know you have a business plan. When football ends for you and obviously, you’re going to play at the highest level and you’ll be playing on Sundays, in short answer, what are your plans? Give us a way to keep in touch with you and follow you on your social media, or whatever.

First off, you can follow me on Instagram, @ClarkPhillipslll, and the same thing on Twitter. You can follow me, reach out, and I’ll respond. My plan is I’m in the school of business at David Eccles School of Business, majoring in Marketing and minoring in Management. I do that because I feel like I’m a leader naturally. It’s something that I’ve had to develop as well.

My dad has been a healthcare executive for quite some time now along with the pastor. He’s had a lot of experience being a leader and I’ve been groomed under it. It has been my personality but being able to watch him be a leader to me and help me out. I feel like that’s something that I want to be able to do in whatever industry. I don’t know if I want to be in healthcare but I wouldn’t be opposed to it either. I think that that’s something that I want to do somewhere in business, whether that be in sports. I would love to stay around sports or anything. I love bands. I used to roller skate a lot. I still do a little bit. Not during the season but those are a couple of things about me that I love.

There you have it, Power Players with Dan Clark. My guest has been Clark Phillips lll. As we talk to corporations, schools, and families, you are the message. As a huge fan who bleeds Utah red, you represent us on the field and off the field. You’re one of the classiest gentleman student-athletes on our team in the history of the University of Utah. It’s been an honor for you to be in our program. Remember that you are the message and Clark Phillips III represents all of us at the highest level possible.

 

Important Links

 

About Clark Phillips III

PPDC 58 | Champions In Our Lives

PHILLIPS QUICK HITS

Has started every game since he came to campus (26).
Pac-12 All-Conference and AP All-Pac-12 second team in 2021.
Eight career interceptions, including a school-record-tying four returned for touchdowns.
Only active player in the Pac-12 with four career pick-sixes and one of just two active Power Five players.
Ranks fifth in Utah history with 227 career interception return yards.

2022:

Made seven starts at cornerback.
Midseason All-America First Team (Associated Press, CBS, College Football Network, PFF, Sporting News, The Athletic)
Owns 16 tackles (1.0 sack) and is tied for the national lead with five interceptions (two pick-sixes).
First career sack went for eight yards during a four-tackle, two PBU win over No. 7 USC.
Chuck Bednarik Award, Walter Camp and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the week after a three-interception (one TD) and three-tackle performance vs. Oregon State.
It was the first three-interception game by a Ute since 2009 and most in the Power Five this season.
First interception of the season came at Arizona State, during a three-tackle outing.
Ran an 80-yard interception back for a score at UCLA, becoming the first Ute since Andre Dyson in 2000 to have consecutive games with a pick-six.

2021:

Started in all 14 games, recording 63 tackles (1.0 TFL), 15 passes defended (13 PBU, 2 INT) and two forced fumbles.
Led the Pac-12 with 15 passes defended, recording 11 in league play.
Tied his career-high in tackles (9) and pass breakups (3) at USC.
Had six tackles in the Washington State win and sealed the victory with a 54-yard pick-six.
Recorded back-to-back seven-tackle games at Oregon State and vs. UCLA, also notching two pass breakups against the Bruins.
Also had seven stops, a forced fumble and a pass breakup vs. Weber State.
Notched five tackles in the Rose Bowl vs. No. 6 Ohio State, adding a forced fumble and an interception.
Added a pass breakup to go with three tackles in the win over No. 3 Oregon.
Had one stop and two breakups in the Pac-12 Championship vs. No. 10 Oregon.

2020:

Started at right cornerback in all five games.
25 total tackles (2.0 TFL), a fumble recovery and three passes defended (1 INT, 2 PBU) which included a pick-six.
Career-high nine tackles (1.0 TFL) against No. 20 USC.
Three tackles with a fumble recovery, two pass breakups and his first-career pick-six (36 yards) against Washington State.

High School:

Four-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN, rated the No. 4 cornerback in the country out of La Habra HS.
Two-time All-CIF.
Freeway League Player of the Year as a junior and two-time all-league, earning first-team as a junior.
2019 Orange County Defensive Player of the Year and three-time first-team all-county.
2019 All-USA first-team defense and 2018 All-USA California Football first-team selection.
28 tackles, four interceptions and seven passes defended his senior year, adding 30 receptions for 435 yards (14.5 ypc) and 10 touchdowns.
18 tackles, two interceptions and 10 passes defended along with 54 catches for 1,210 yards (22.4 ypc) and 19 touchdowns as a junior.
26 tackles, seven interceptions with 154 return yards and 15 passes defended his sophomore season, adding eight carries for 127 yards along with 153 return yards between kick and punt return.

Personal: Son of Clark and Lakeisha … has two sisters and a brother.

 


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