The ripple effect of a coaching change at Boston College seems to have benefited Utah in recruiting.
The Utes signed highly touted cornerback Clark Phillips on Thursday, the second day of the early signing period. Phillips had been committed to Ohio State but flipped late after Buckeyes co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Jeff Hafley took the head coaching job at Boston College.
Hafley replaces Steve Addazio, who was fired after the regular season. The 40-year-old Hafley was in his first season with the Buckeyes after spending several years as an NFL assistant. Still, he quickly developed into one of Ohio State’s top recruiters.
Phillips, from La Habra, California, is a four-star prospect, ranked No. 93 overall in the ESPN 300 and the eighth-rated cornerback in the 2020 class.
Utah, like Ohio State, will be looking to replace some NFL talent in the secondary next season and Phillips should have an opportunity to compete right away.
After Phillips made his decision, Utah football’s official Twitter account posted: ” THE University of Utah,” a poke at Ohio State. The Buckeyes like to emphasize the THE when referring to their school.
THE University of Utah.
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) December 19, 2019
Ohio State has another highly regarded defensive back prospect, Cameron Martinez from Michigan, who is committed to the Buckeyes but plans to wait until the next signing period in February to sign.
It was a newsworthy Day 2 for Utah, the defending Pac-12 South champion.
Before landing Phillips, coach Kyle Whittingham landed Xavier Carlton, a four-star defensive lineman from Utah who was also looking at Ohio State and Washington, and lost out on three-star linebacker Jaylan Ford, who is from Texas and decided to flip to the Longhorns.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.