The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

November 19, 2013

Former star Ottumwa receiver continues to shine at college level

(Continued)

"We have so many good athletes that everybody has done a good job of spreading the ball out over a lot of different athletes," Utter said.

After redshirting in 2009, Utter saw some action when he first donned the pads and helmet in a game atmosphere for the Bearcats in 2010. The former Ottumwa standout made 13 catches for 15 yards. As as sophomore, Utter's statistics showed marked improvement, as he caught 15 passes for 118 yards . In addition, he scored his first touchdown in week three against Lincoln in a game where he also gained what at that time was a career-high of 61 yards.

Utter said he began to see significant improvement in his play his sophomore season.

"It was my sophomore year when I saw the advantages of summer and winter conditioning," Utter said.

He talked about the toughest part of making the transition from high school to collegiate play.

"In college you really have to manage your time," Utter said. "Football here is almost a job. In high school it's more of an activity, in college it's more like a full-time job."

Utter had a remarkable senior season for the Bulldogs before he moved on to play at the college level. In his senior campaign, he made 28 grabs for 817 yards and 10 touchdowns — he averaged a little over 29 yards per reception. Utter's impressive portfolio of accomplishments that season got him named second-team all-state and helped Ottumwa capture the CIML Metro Conference Championship. Though not quite as stupendous as his senior season, Utter also had an laudable junior year with the Bulldogs that was ornamented by 15 catches and four touchdowns. He also amassed 54 tackles and one interception.

Aside from the his successes on the gridiron, Utter also competed in basketball, baseball and track and field while haunting the halls of Ottumwa. In fact, Utter amassed his share of accomplishments and acclaim on the track. His success on the tracks was good enough to get him inducted into the Ottumwa High School Track Hall of Fame for his performances in the 1,600-meter relay and the 400 meters.

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