4-star Ethan Utley ready to ‘play for the best fan base’ after Tennessee commitment

On3 imageby:Austin Price03/28/24


4-star Dl Ethan Utley Commits To Tennessee Vols & Explains Why Rocky Top Was The Best Fit I Gbo

With friends and family in attendance at his commitment party, Ensworth defensive lineman Ethan Utley announced his commitment to Tennessee. Before his announcement, Volquest caught up with the 4-star lineman to discuss his decision.

“Just the relationship that I have built with coach G and coach Heup and those guys,” Utley said about why he picked the Vols. “Just knowing my career at Tennessee will explode playing under the best defensive line coach in college football. And just knowing that coach Heupel and the rest of the team all the way down to the graduate assistants we will continue to build the program to get it back to where it was when we were competing for national championships. I’m going to continue to recruit guys in my class and knowing we are going to build a wall around the state of Tennessee knowing we can pull in guys instate. It’s one of those things that hit head on for me in staying home and playing for the best fan base in college football.”

The relationship with Rodney Garner has been well documented. He has known him for a long time and his mom has known him for coach G dating back to her time at Georgia. It was big in the decision process.

“I learned that college football is a business throughout this whole process,” Utley said. “Guys will do what they need to do to get the guys they need. Coach Heupel and coach G have went out of their way to let me know I was a priority to Tennessee is one of those things I took note of. Obviously my trust with coach G is higher because he has known my mom for a while and my mom trusts him. She saw the production he had at Georgia and he has continued to produce guys such as Tyler Baron, Big O, James Pearce Jr, arguably the top pick in the draft next year. Just knowing he has continued to produce guys like that is hard to pass up on. Knowing I’d have the opportunity to come to Tennessee and play early and maybe even start early depending on work ethic because Tennessee is going to get the all of me.”

He now sets his sights on recruiting where he will team up with George MacIntyre and his childhood friend and current Vol commit Dylan Lewis.

“Me and Dylan is funny because we didn’t really click for the first two weeks,” Utley said with a laugh. “Once we did though there was no getting us apart. Especially when we were in the same city. You would never see him without me or me without him. I go back to Atlanta frequently and he has been coming up to Nashville and Knoxville. Hopefully when we get to Tennessee we can live together. Living with your best friend would be fun.”

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