Utes QB Tyler Huntley Proves Himself On Field, In Classroom
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley’s intelligence was called into question by a fan over Twitter following a post-game interview after the Utes’ win against Washington.
On the contrary, Huntley has proven his ability on the field and in the classroom, graduating early and earning a spot on the honor roll.
The University of Utah football coaches put an emphasis on academics for all their players. In fact, the team boasts the highest graduation percentage rate in the Pac-12, with 93 percent of the athletes earning a degree.
The past two years have been the best yet for the Utes when it comes to graduation percentage. It’s something that has made head coach Kyle Whittingham proud
“This is THE most important reason we are here. Congratulations, guys!” Whittingham tweeted with a photo of the Utes class of 2019.
This is THE most important reason we are here. Congratulations, guys! https://t.co/n9Ym50KOnh
— Kyle Whittingham (@UtahCoachWhitt) May 3, 2019
Coach Whitt often Tweets about graduation, academic successes and scholarships.
Academics have been talked about every day in the program, according to former punter and current KSL Sports cross-platform host Tom Hackett. Once a week, players who have demonstrated some sort of academic success are recognized in a team meeting.
YOU get a scholarship and
YOU get a scholarship and
YOU get a scholarship!
3 scholarships in 3 days. What a great week to be a Ute! Congratulations to Ali’i, Malik and Mason. pic.twitter.com/JPkE61LC81
— Kyle Whittingham (@UtahCoachWhitt) August 17, 2019
You don’t have to look far to find success stories within the Utah football program.
Take the “Hallandale Trio” for example. Huntley, Zack Moss and Demari Simpkins – important members of the team – all came to Utah after going to high school together in South Florida. The three have or will finish their degrees this season.
Moss could have already been playing in the NFL, but decided to stay in school with Simpkins and Huntley. He also wanted to be the first in his family to get a degree. Education has been important to him.
Time to cement my name. Let's do the damn thing 🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/ZqJTfGHegP
— ❌ (@PresMoss2) January 7, 2019
Huntley, the undisputed leader of the team according to Whittingham, graduated in 3.5 years, was on the honor roll and is a two-time honorable mention for Academic All-Conference in the Pac-12.
It’s clear, education is of high value for student-athletes at the University of Utah.
Education & Beyond
With an education, usually, an open mind and a larger world view follow. Those things may be more important than the degree in some cases.
The disrespect toward Huntley on Twitter was unfair, and based primarily on his southern dialect.
Fans, coaches and teammates came to his defense, including some from rival schools.
BYU’s offensive line coach Eric Mateos Tweeted, “I’m from South Florida too and you have no idea how special it is for a young man to get out and get that degree.”
Wow. Just because a guy isn’t from the same area as you doesn’t mean you somehow have clout to speak to how he talks. I’m from south Florida too and you have no idea how special it is for a young man to get out and get that degree. Disrespectful & you would never say in person.
— Eric Mateos (@CoachMateos) November 3, 2019
Mateos pointed out that just because someone is from a different area doesn’t mean the way they speak should be called out.
This is where the value of a larger world view comes in – an understanding and respect for everyone – not just people like you.
Moving across the country, going to college and getting a degree is an impressive accomplishment, and a life experience that opens minds and changes lives.
Many student-athletes will not become professional athletes. Athletics, however, does create a pathway for many young people to attend college, putting a high value on the education they receive.
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