Arizona already has two defensive tackles committed for 2016, but it might not stop there. There is one prospect that has received quite a bit of attention from Arizona in Markell Utsey. The 3-star, 6-4, 290lbs defensive tackle out of Parkview Magnet (Little Rock, AR) has quite a few offers, including Arkansas, Baylor, Memphis and North Carolina, among others, he told me.
"My recruiting process is going great, I'm blessed for my first offer from Arizona... I feel like I came a long way to get to this point," Utsey said. "I like that they play in a good, competitive conference. And I also like Coach Kirlav's character, it seems that Arizona is a close, family-based program," he said about Arizona.This, of course, came before the commitment of Jabari Watson on July 1.
It seems as if his recruitment is mainly in the south region, but the distance to Arizona doesn't concern Utsey. "No, I don't mind going away from Arkansas to go to school, as long as it's right for me. I just have to get used to being so far away but I think I can handle it," Utsey said.
It's pretty interesting to learn how Arizona found out about this massive tackle all the way out in Arkansas, giving Utesey his first Division I offer. Here's what he told me about how Arizona came in contact with him.
"The first day I heard of Arizona having interest in me was one day at practice they contacted my coach and wanted film of me lifting and doing agility drills so we sent in the film and coach Kirlav told me to give him a call. He told me how interested Arizona was in me and how I'm a good player and would fit in Arizona, then he got my contact information about two weeks later. I gave him a call and he told me he wanted to offer me a scholarship to play for Arizona and he wanted me to come to Arizona to see the campus and meet the coaches and to have a feel for the school as a whole."
Arizona has a lot of visitors coming on July 18th, and Utsey is trying to finalize some plans to make it down. "I'm actually talking with my mom now trying to work things out to come visit July 18th," he said. "A good vibe from the coaches and players and to see how they do things and to view the campus and school and surroundings of the school," are just a few things he'll be looking for during his visit.
So what else is he looking for in a school?
"A good education, a team that is like a family, somewhere I know I'll end up playing at and somewhere that would be best for me and my future," Utsey said of when it comes time to commit. He's giving himself plenty of time in the recruiting process, as he wishes to commit after his senior season.
"I've always played in a 4-3 type of defense and that's what I'm more comfortable with. I think a 3 front is more difficult cause I'm not used to playing in front of the center. I honestly think end would be good for me in a 3 front," he said about his play style. "I am a very physical and aggressive player, I'm willing to learn and have a great work ethic," when asked about his fit in a 3-3-5.
His highlights are below.