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Clark Phillips III details what makes him a 'chip on the shoulder guy'

Utah product ready to prove he can thrive, produce at the NFL level

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The story many want tell about Clark Phillips III centers around his size.

That's especially true after the unanimous All-American and Jim Thorpe award finalist was available to the Falcons in the fourth round of this year's NFL Draft. Surely the 5-foot-9 cornerback out of Utah could have been taken higher.


A self-proclaimed "chip on the shoulder guy," no way he should have fallen to the fourth round.

That led to a lot of questions, and maybe even some surprise about Phillips draft position.

Rest assured Phillips has written down every name of every cornerback taken before him.

When Phillips was asked about the chip on his shoulder, however, he did not credit his draft position. He referred to his height. Responding, "No draft, whether I went seventh round or first round, was going to add [that chip]... I've always been 5'9."

How the corner from Utah fares in the NFL will have to wait.

July and well beyond will be a better time to talk about that. Rookie minicamps are more mental than physical and that's where he is now, at the start of his professional career.

That means no more college classes, no more distractions, especially with his contract signed on Friday. Phillips was ecstatic to be able to just focus on his game.

"It's great right now to just be able to focus on football," Phillips said. "I've never had a time in my life where that was the case."

Looking forward to his rookie season, Phillips is ready to come in and learn, taking what he can from the older players. He will have no shortage of DBs to learn from. The Falcons traded for Jeff Okudah and signed Jessie Bates III this offseason, adding to an already good position group.

While there is a lot of unknown about Phillips and what his time in the NFL will bring, we know this just by talking to him: he's smart, witty and doesn't lack confidence.

Phillips is here to compete no matter who lines up across from him, meaning training camp and his rookie season will be fun to watch.

Take a look at the Atlanta Falcons rookies in action during the 2023 rookie minicamp.

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