Tennessee Football landed one of its top targets on Friday, picking up a commitment from offensive lineman William Satterwhite.
The decision came down to Clemson and Tennessee for Satterwhite, but the opportunity to play early was something the four-star offensive lineman couldn’t pass up.
“They said basically they’re losing a bunch of linemen this year, so being able to come in early and prove myself as a piece of the team, possibly get a spot,” Satterwhite said, detailing his decision.
Satterwhite ranks as the No. 191 prospect nationally and the No. 11 interior offensive lineman according to 247Sports Composite rankings. Out of Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, Ohio, he ranks as the No. 7 prospect from the state.
On top of the opportunity to play early, Tennessee’s academic programs also sealed the deal for the 6-foot-3 and 300-pound offensive lineman. He hopes to major in engineering.
“Academics there are great, especially the engineering program, which I want to study,” he said. “That just kinda swayed me that way.”
Through his recruitment, Satterwhite has gotten close to Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel. He was surprised by how hands-on Heupel is in recruiting, helping make the difference in Satterwhite’s decision.
“He’s really hands-on with recruiting,” Satterwhite said. “He’s not just in the background. He helps recruit with the position coaches and plays a big part in the official visits as well. He really sees me as a player that fits to the play style they have there already in the system they have created.”
Glenn Elarbee, Tennessee’s offensive line coach, has also been heavily involved with Satterwhite and his recruitment. During Satterwhite’s official visit, he got to go on the lake with Elarbee and several other recruits. The lake with Elarbee was his favorite part of his time in Knoxville.
“He’s just a very hands-on coach,” Satterwhite said of Elarbee. “He really cares about his players really in developing them and seeing them at their best.”
The atmosphere and environment played a key role in Satterwhite’s decision as well. Pitting the Vols against Clemson, he couldn’t pass up Tennessee’s campus and the culture in the locker room.
“It’s really a family vibe there,” he said. “Everyone knows each other. Everyone hangs out all the time. But also they work hard and they compete as well.”
Not being in a busy town also played in the decision, with current players telling Satterwhite it’s easy to “lock in” with little distractions in Knoxville.
Satterwhite plans to enroll early and hit the ground running with Tennessee Football.
“It’s not like a busy town,” he said. “It’s kind of just football school and lock locking in really no distractions elsewhere.”
Satterwhite adds to the deep offensive linemen class Elarbee is creating in the 2024 class. Three-star offensive linemen Gage Ginther and Jesse Perry are also a part of the 2024 class along with four-star offensive lineman Max Anderson.
The 2024 class for the Vols is currently comprised of four-star quarterback Jake Merklinger, four-star athlete Johnathan Echols, four-star cornerback Kaleb Beasley, four-star Peyton Lewis, four-star offensive lineman Anderson, four-star athlete Boo Carter, four-star defensive lineman Kellen Lindstrom, four-star linebacker Jordan Burns four-star athlete Marcus Goree Jr. and three-star defensive linemen Carson Gentle and Jeremais Heard along with three-star offensive linemen Ginther and Perry and three-star safety Edress Farooq.