It may be the month of July, and the COVID-19 pandemic may be seriously hindering recruiting for most of the college football programs throughout the country. But for the University of Utah, head coach Kyle Whittingham and co. are off to a stellar start in recruiting compared to where they usually are this time of year.
Headlining Utah's 2021 recruiting class is quarterback Peter Costelli, one of the top-ranked passers in the country according SI All American's John Garcia.
Joining Costelli is one of the premier running backs in the country in soon-to-be four-star running back Ricky Parks out of Gaither High School in Tampa, Florida. The Utes the secured their first wide receiver commit of the 2021 class when Deamikkio Nathan, the playmaker out of South Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie, Texas, announced his commitment to the Utes on July 1.
All three players have been named SI All-American nominees.
But now with the offense starting to thrive, Utah must turn its attention to the other side of the ball. With three-star linebacker Trey Reynolds, another SI All-American nominee, already on board, the Utes are looking to add to its linebacker depth and pair Reynolds with another game-changer on the outside.
Enter Ethan Calvert, a four-star linebacker out of Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif
Calvert has the size, athleticism and bloodlines to be a star in college. He's already built like a top-flight, D-I linebacker and by playing primarily against spread offenses in high school, his athleticism flashes on his tape.
“I’m looking for relationships with the coaches. Distance (from home) doesn’t really matter, as long as campus feels like home.” Calvert said. “I’ll probably end up narrowing my decision (and) committing after I take my official visits.”
Calvert really broke through the recruiting ranks when he dominated the competition by being named a "Top Performer" at the Under Armour All-America Camp in Los Angeles on Feb. 9.
He was another head-turner during competitive drills when he showed off his burst, and coverage skills against some of the top QB's in the country. His performance earned him an invite to the 2021 Under Armor All-America Game following the completion of his drills during the camp.
Calvert would expertly slide into Utah's defense and could be an immediate impact player from the second he steps onto campus.
Here's a complete breakdown of Calvert's game by SI's director fo recruiting John Garcia Jr.
Prospect: Ethan Calvert
Status: SI All-American candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-3, 225 pounds
Position: Outside Linebacker/Wide Receiver
School: Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
Schools of Interest: Considering USC, UCLA, Stanford, Washington, LSU and several others.
Projected Position: Linebacker
Frame: Great defensive build. Tall with broad shoulders and above-average length. Muscular throughout, with room to add mass to lower half at the next level.
Athleticism: Calvert is the youngest of three brothers playing big roles in the Pac-12 and some say he has the talent to be the best among them. Strong straight-line linebacker with closing speed and considerable pop upon contact. Runs better than expected, relative to the frame, in the open field. Solid quickness in the wash with navigational ability.
Instincts: Sharp risk-taker whether dealing with contain, pursuit angles or gauging blockers. Can get to ball carrier with speed and redirect without much warning. At his best when path to assignment is on a linear path but flashes pass rushing upside on the edge as needed. He can take on blockers with length and leverage but prefers to win with athleticism.
Polish: While aggressive, plays within responsibility with efficiency and speed. He can scream downhill and make a play behind the line just as well as he can scrape over the top and fill a hole with purpose. Strong prospect with well-above-average football IQ evident in coverage despite a slight lack of fluidity in space.
Bottom Line: Calvert has the look and game of an old school inside linebacker with plenty of flashy traits along the way. He can thrive in the A and B gaps with downhill execution and hold his own as an underneath defender against the pass. But when it comes to projecting him at the collegiate level, he is a see ball, get ball linebacker with great fundamentals and plenty of pop to build upon.
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