Chad Simmons

Tennessee '17 Defensive Tackle Prospect Discusses Top Schools

Nashville defensive tackle Ben Hutch released his top six schools on Twitter this week.

There’s a lot of time left in the recruiting process for Nashville defensive tackle prospect Ben Hutch, but he’s got a group of schools he knows he likes. 

Hutch released his top six schools via Twitter this week — Louisville, Memphis, Nebraska, Penn State, Missouri and Texas A&M — and then discussed with what he likes about each of those.

“It’s still a long process,” Hutch said. “My mom wants to hold off on my commitment, my final decision, until I take all five of my official (visits). We have a little time to talk it over after the officials. The process is still long and anything can happen.”

A 6-foot-3, 305-pounder, who had 32.5 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and four sacks during his junior season at Hillsboro High School, Hutch has already made several unofficial visits and is planning a few more soon. 

“I’m going to Georgia Tech and I’m taking one to South Carolina, to see if I can get an offer from those schools because they’ve been hollering at me a little bit lately,” Hutch said.

He and his mom will then figure out which five schools he wants to take official visits to during the fall. He has already seen some of his top schools but his mom hasn’t and he wants her to see them. 

As for what Hutch is looking for in a college, he said he’s looking for a good academic school that will set up him up for his post-football life and one that has his major. He is planning on studying broadcasting and communications. 

Here is what Hutch likes about his top six schools…

Louisville: “I just like the coaching staff. Me and Coach P (Bobby Petrino), we had a little talk for a little bit. I like him. And then Coach K (Chris Klenakis), he just brings excitement. He recruits my area. He’s always excited when he sees me and then he gets me excited. We both get fired up. Then Coach (L.D.) Scott, the D-line coach, he had a sit down with me and my mom and he told me what would I do if I go there. He said I could possibly be the next Sheldon Rankins or better. I just like that. I like the coaching staff at Louisville. And it’s a beautiful campus. Nice city.”

Memphis: “Since the day I met Coach (Ryan) Silverfield we have been talking. Every day. That’s why I like Memphis. They are different. Coach (Mike) Norvell is about to change the program around. Then the D-line coach, Coach (Paul) Randolph, he gets D-linemen better. He’s sending them to the league. Their whole program is about to be changed.” 

Nebraska: “Me and Coach P (defensive line coach John Parrella), it’s funny because he told me I was 6-1 and then he came here and saw me and saw that I was about 6-3, 6-4. He just looked me up and down like he was surprised. Me and him kicked it from the start. He’s also a good guy, he played in the league and he said he could get me league-ready in about three to four years and I believe him. That’s everybody’s goal that plays football. Me and Coach P have a good relationship. Then Coach (Mike) Riley, he’s also a good man. I talk to him too. I like him and Coach Riley.”

Penn State: “The Penn State staff now used to be Vandy’s old staff, so they’ve been recruited me since I was a freshman, since I came into high school, because of Kyle Phillips. I was like 14 years old or something like that. So James Franklin and Coach (Sean) Spencer, they have always been over to the school to see me — when they were at Vandy and everything. They came by again this spring and saw me again. The Penn State coaching staff has always been in the mix recruiting me.” 

Missouri: “I went up there and had a sit down talk — me and my friend, T.J. Minnifee, we plan on going to college together — so me and him had a sit down talk with Coach (DeMontie) Cross. He just told us what we have to do to be a Mizzou Tiger, how much you have to put in to be a Mizzou Tiger and I feel like I can do that. Because I set my standards high and that’s what he was talking about. Then me and Coach (Jackie) Shipp, we got to talk a little bit. I like Coach Shipp. So Coach Cross and Coach Shipp and Coach (Greg) Brown, he recruits in my area, so I’m real tight with them.”

Note: Minnifee is a 2017 OLB at Wilson Central High School in Lebanon, Tenn., who has an offer from South Carolina and others.

Texas A&M: “D-line coach, Coach (David) Turner, he used to be at Mississippi State and they offered me when I was coming up early. So me and Coach Turner always had that relationship and then he went down to Texas A&M and they offered me. So we built that relationship. Then I went down there for an unofficial and I met (defensive coordinator John) Chavis and (head coach Kevin) Sumlin and some of the grad assistants and they just showed me a good time. It was very beautiful down there. That’s why I loved it.”

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at

Want more coverage? Become a member today to get insider information, members-only forums, exclusive videos, team shop offers and ticket discounts. Click HERE to learn more and get a 7-day free trial.

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories