Elite ★★★★★ Poster
- Apr 5, 2009
He hinting at a commitment already?
-VQRodney Garner will be at the Ensworth game to see junior Ethan Utley. Utley’s mom and Garner have known each other since Garner was at Georgia.
“The experience was great. I just wanted to catch the Vols in action since they were playing in my city,” said Utley, who’s ranked the No. 149 overall prospect and No. 17 defensive lineman in the 2025 class and the No. 5 junior from the state of Tennessee, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.
“Defense had the crowd into it. Stops were made when needed to, and the quarterback wasn't comfortable in the pocket all game. I was impressed.”
“I wasn't surprised by that part, being from Nashville,” he said. “I know (the) majority of this city is made up of UT fans, so knowing that, I was expecting a huge turnout.”
“I know Coach G and Coach Heupel are looking to build this defensive class around me, so seeing them come support me in that way separates them, for sure. … I hear from the staff (three to four times) a week, from both Coach G and Heupel.”
But he said Garner “had told me that he wasn’t coming for evaluation.”
“He was just coming to really show me I am a major priority for them,” Utley said, “and that I’m his target.”
callahanHe said he’s “going to the UGA game, for sure,” referring to Tennessee’s home game against two-time defending national champion Georgia on Nov. 18.
“It was fun for sure,” Utley said of the trip. “I was glad the sun went down because getting that night time feeling in Neyland is special. Feeling the energy and how loud it can be in there. These are the two best defensive lines in college football going at it, and I feel like Tennessee made their point. They got to the quarterback more than A&M did. Just being able to witness that in person was great to see. I can’t complain when I come back to Neyland. They want me here, and it is one of the schools I am highly considering. It was great.”
“I feel like out of the defensive line and the entire defense really, I am one of the top priorities,” Utley said. “I could be wrong but we keep talking to each other and building on those things, and that is something I have to take note of. My recruitment is getting closer to a commitment, taking OVs next summer and all of that, a place so close to home wants me like that sits close to my heart, so I have to take that into consideration.”
Elsewhere, this visit was just about being around the coaches and re-connecting. “Really, it was being able to catch up, see familiar faces and new faces,” Utley said of his time spent with the staff. “I didn’t have a game last night, so I didn’t have that much to talk about, but being able to witness a game atmosphere like this and be around them makes it more comfortable and makes me want to come back more.”
-VQ“It makes me more comfortable being able to come up here and not being hesitant to come back,” Utley said of what the visit does for the Vols. “Sometimes guys can’t tell if they are wanted, but I know I am wanted here, so that makes me want to come back even more. When I cut my list down again, I can look back on this and know it is a place I am comfortable. I appreciate Tennessee because every time I am up here, it is a good time.”
Utley has also been friends with Dylan Lewis since 6th grade so that doesn't hurtI honestly thought that this kid was UGA bound from the beginning but if Garner is still putting out effort and money to recruit him, that tells me we are in it more than I originally believe.
-VQ2025 defensive lineman Ethan Utley is one who is feeling good about Tennessee early in his process. He was impressed with the performance from the defensive line last weekend, and he clearly sees how he can fit into what Tennessee likes to do up front. Again, it is early, as he is not rushing toward a decision, but Tennessee is standing out, in our opinion. He has built a strong relationship with the staff and plans to return to Knoxville again next month.
-Matt RayEthan Utley was back on campus and the top-75 DL is getting more comfortable with Tennessee. His family enjoys Rodney Garner and Utley is enjoying spending plenty of time around fellow prospects in Knoxville. It’s early but Tennessee is in good shape in this one currently.