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Tennessee’s Recruiting Ranking Rises After Landing Four-Star Prospect Ethan Utley

Tennessee Football
Tennessee football commit Ethan Utley. Photo via @EthanUtley_ on Instagram.

Tennessee jumped over a few of the SEC’s top programs with the addition of four-star defensive lineman Ethan Utley to the class of 2025 on Thursday night.

Utler, a top-five player from the state of Tennessee (Ensworth School), announced his commitment to Josh Heupel’s program on Thursday night to cap off a long and committed recruitment from the Vols’ side.

“Rocky Top, I’m home!” Utley tweeted out during his commitment.

With a four-star commitment this early in the cycle, Utley’s weight had an impact on the current 2025 team rankings. According to On3’s services, Tennessee bumped up three spots following the commitment over a trio of SEC contenders in Texas, Oklahoma, and Georgia.

The Vols leapt one spot over Texas in Rivals’ rankings and while Tennessee did move up two spots in 247 Sports’ rankings, neither was above a team from the SEC.

PRE-Utley Commitment (Six Players)

247 Sports: No. 13 nationally, No. 5 SEC (LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma)

On3 Sports: No. 13 nationally, No. 7 SEC (LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma)

Rivals: No. 12 nationally, No. 6 SEC (LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, Texas)


POST-Utley Commitment (Seven Players)

247 Sports: No. 11 nationally, No. 5 SEC (Did not jump any SEC teams)

On3 Sports: No. 10 nationally, No. 4 SEC (Jumped over Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia)

Rivals: No. 11 nationally, No. 5 SEC (Jumped over Texas)

More from RTI: Tennessee Lands Four-Star In-State Defensive Lineman Ethan Utley

Tennessee now has seven players in their 2025 class, which is about three less than the average of 10.2 commitments from the teams in the Top 10 of 247’s rankings. No. 1 Notre Dame has a significant lead with 18 commits. Ohio State, meanwhile, also has seven commits at the No. 4 overall spot.

According to 247 and On3’s ranking systems, Tennessee has one five-star, two four-stars, and four three-stars. The Vols’ class is led by blue-chip five-star quarterback George MacIntyre (Nashville, TN), a top 10 overall prospect in the class and the top-ranked player from the state of Tennessee.

The Vols have a four-star recruit on each side of the ball with defensive lineman Ethan Utley (Nashville, TN) and tight end Jack Van Dorselaer (Southlake, TX). Utley, the previously mentioned four-star commit, is the No. 4 player in the class from the Volunteer State. Van Dorselaer, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-5 tight end prospect who seems to fit perfectly in Josh Heupel’s receiver-friendly offense.

Tennessee rounds out the class with a pair of prospects on the offensive side with three-star wide receiver Joakim Dodson (Collierville, TN) and three-star running back Justin Baker (Buford, GA) and a pair of defensive commits in three-star cornerback Tyler Redmond (Alpharetta, GA) and three-star cornerback Dylan Lewis (Alpharetta, GA).

All ranking information published as of 9:00 p.m. ET on Mar. 28, 2024.

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