Sentell’s Intel delivers detailed Georgia football recruiting info. This rep has the latest with 4-star TE Ethan Barbour at Alpharetta High. He ranks as the nation’s No. 4 TE and No. 179 overall prospect for 2025 on the 247Sports Composite. On3′s Industry Ranking has him as the No. 5 TE and No. 192 recruit.
Ethan Barbour has had a busy last few days.
The 6-foot-3, 229-pound junior dropped a final five last week, scheduled his commitment for September 22 and went off for four touchdowns in a single quarter of his last game.
The nation’s No. 4 TE for the 2025 cycle finished that contest with six catches for 217 yards and four scores. That was eye-opening considering he had six catches for 66 yards in his first two games.
He’d been hoping to build off the 51 catches, 741 yards and 12 scores he had as a junior. Barbour basically reset the pace for an expected career year in his senior season with just one quarter.
Check out the film from last Friday night.
Barbour (Sounds like Bar-Boar) then visited UGA on Saturday for the Ball State game and sat in the front row.
That’s a pretty productive week, right?
“EB” has now settled on a final five that includes the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State and USC.
How did that recent visit to check out UGA go? Let’s start with a few pictures of how Barbour was feeling sitting in the front row of the west end zone flanked by 2024 Georgia commits Sacovie White and Dylan Raiola.
The pictures below tell their own story.
He said he’s been to UGA at least 13 times now. Counting his most recent visit.
“I think it was my seventh or eighth time there before I finally got my offer,” Barbour said. “If you want to go there, you’ve got to put that work in. You’ve got to show that you are interested.”
The scene at Sanford Stadium is still enough to have him grinning like that on a game day.
There is also a very good chance he will be back in Athens for Saturday’s game at South Carolina.
How does Ethan Barbour feel about the ‘Dawgs?
When Barbour visited UGA over the summer on the last weekend of July for the annual summer cookout, he was grouped with the TEs for the annual “Field Day” type events inside the “House of Payne” indoor facility.
When it came time for each position group to compete against each other, he was the leadoff TE in a drill. That included a pair of commits in the 2024 class, but Barbour is the type of kid who can be placed in those positions.
“It was a great experience there,” Barbour said. “Bonding with the other 2024 commits and you know coach [Todd] Hartley as well. That bond has been there. But just bonding with all the other commits that are there and the other top priorities to Georgia. I got to talk and bond there with a bunch of new faces.”
That visit was worthwhile, he said. He said it kept on ‘inching them along of being the best school’ out of his top schools. He had a Top eight at the time, but he’s now down to that final five.
What is he looking for in the ideal school?
“I’m looking for a school that will develop me as a person and will develop me on the field and that also will teach me life lessons and help me make great connections and great networking for my life off the field,” he said recently.
Barbour has a clear opinion about the ‘Dawgs.
“It is a culture over there,” he said. “Everybody treats everybody like family. They take care of you as a person. They are going to make you work hard. That’s a big thing. They are going to develop you in all the aspects that I want to be developed in. Education. On the field. They are going to develop you off the field and help you develop connections off the field for your future after football. That’s what is really really good about Georgia.”
He’s aware that Georgia now has an assembly line of top-tier tight ends under Hartley.
“That family vibe and the way that Georgia uses its tight ends,” he said when asked what stands out the most about the ‘Dawgs. “Their culture is just different over there. When you go there you can really see it. You can tell a difference between Georgia and other colleges.”
What matters to him besides scoring touchdowns?
“I’m going to be kind and polite and help out and be a leader among my team,” he said. “I am going to work hard in school. I’m not just a football player. I am not going to make an impact off the field as well.”
Ethan Barbour: Could he be a Create-A-Player Bulldog?
We’ll go on a limb here and guess that a large percentage of folks reading this have either played or devoted hundreds of hours of their lives to the once-great NCAA football video game franchise.
Maybe at least their significant other has been captivated by it.
Or their children asked for it every summer on that sublime day in July when it came out. If one had a birthday in July, it was an easy present for loved ones to make sure someone got it.
A popular feature was the ability to create a player to be imported into the dynasty mode gameplay. You could create a 6-foot-7 tight end who weighed 265 pounds yet was blessed with receiver skills and the ability to block like a 5-star offensive tackle.
You could detail every feature down to his spats, his wristbands and that he lived in Las Vegas before he signed with the ‘Dawgs to help spark the run to back-to-back national championships.
(It is odd how that video game simulation now reflects real life, huh?)
Barbour seems like a Create-A-Player concept for Todd Hartley’s room. That was what weighed on my mind when listening to Alpharetta coach Jason Kervin break down Barbour.
Let’s start with the fact that Barbour is an All-American homegrown who has now shown the ability to score 19 touchdowns in 23 varsity games.
That’s where it all starts. Talent matters at the University of Georgia. Let’s not be so altruistic and high-brow and say that it does not.
Ethan Barbour: How it all translates to the field
Now let’s add in the fact that higher education and the value of a degree repeats itself all over the Barbour family dinner table.
“The best way that I can explain who Ethan Barbour is would be the fact his Dad was in the military and has an MBA from Duke,” Alpharetta coach Jason Kervin said. “That sums up how Ethan is disciplined and regimented and organized and how thoughtful he is. But at the same time, education really matters. His Mom works at Merrill Lynch and she does really well. When you meet with her, she’s a really amazing and serious person, too.”
Eric Barbour, his father, has always stressed football is an outlet to set his son up for life when he graduates with a college degree and a head start on his career. The NFL has never been the goal. The Barbours may realize it is on the table here, but that’s not the plan. The plan has always been the degree path in college.
“I just want to make it,” Ethan Barbour says. “To have my parents not pay for anything because college is expensive. I saw that bill when my sister went to Vanderbilt.”
Barbour said his sister was almost the Valedictorian in high school. He aims to study business in college and described his parents as private bankers in the financial sector. He does plan to enroll early in January of 2025 at his chosen school.
The 4-star TE also plays for his late grandmother Katherine Barbour. She was always taking him to camps and events when his parents were working.
“That was my granny man,” Ethan said this summer. “She was really my everything and just really really meant a lot to me.”
The tight ends coach at Alpharetta is a former marine and he raves about the person, the player and the work ethic Barbour shows on a daily basis.
This already seems like a lot, but the ideal Create-a-player template is just getting started here.
There was a play sequence last fall when Barbour came over to the sideline and pleaded for a certain play call. It is just not what one might be thinking. It was not a Keyshawn Johnson or a Terrell Owens moment.
“He called a play where he got the chance to block somebody and pave the way for one of his teammates,” Alpharetta coach Jason Kervin said. “He wanted to bang and bump. He said ‘Coach let me get in there and bang’ and wanted us to call a play where he could go take on somebody and hammer away in the run game. Not go get the ball and catch a touchdown.”
Barbour is just that physical in the box. He can insert on linebackers and put his grill in the face of the defender he’s assigned to remove from the play. His great body control lends itself to solutions for his offense in the run game. That as an in-line tight end or just by blocking in space.
Former Auburn great and former New York Giant Brandon Jacobs instilled that in Barbour. That’s when he coached him with the North Atlanta Giants in rec ball.
“You can’t be a one-dimensional tight end,” Barbour said. “You have to be a dual threat to help your team win in the run game. I really do value blocking.”
The Alpharetta staff also coaches its players very hard. It is one of those things where the players by now know to pay attention to the message and not the tone. That’s pretty much a requirement for a ‘Dawg these days. They have to be able to handle being coached hard.
“I’m in his face and he will be like ‘Yes sir’ and ‘I’ve got you’ and go do it,” Kervin said.
There’s also a selfless nature here besides being incredibly difficult to stop on a dig route.
“He cares about the team more than he cares about himself,” Kervin said. “We had a lift-a-thon back in the spring. We had like five different platforms and we had like 20 kids at each one doing squats.”
There is a video of that night that highlights the lifts from each member of the team.
“It will spotlight like over 30 kids lifting and if you go back to that video, he’s spotting over half of them,” Kervin said. “He’s not doing it for show. He’s doing it because he genuinely wants to impact those people.”
It was to the point that Barbour was wearing himself out spotting his teammates on their squats.
The All-American also displays a high IQ on the field. He understands coverages and the route concepts he’s running.
“You can’t take him off the field,” Kervin said. “I don’t care if he goes on and plays at Georgia man. If they go empty on offense on a play call, he’s still going to be on the field.”
“You are not going to take him off and put somebody else on the field. That’s because there are no flaws to his game. But at the same time when the lights are the brightest in the biggest spot and it is on him, that’s when he’s at his best.”
“He knows how to elevate his game on the biggest stages and he’s never shied away from it.”
There was a game against Rome last year. It was third down in the red zone. The Wolves normally played man-on-film in the red zone, but not against Alpharetta. They played zone and bracketed Barbour.
They had to call timeout because that look was foreign. They ran another play. That didn’t work. Barbour suggested a play call.
“I didn’t like it,” Kervin said in the moment. “Just to be honest with you.”
But then he relented. His gut went with his experience of working with great players. He coached George Pickens at Hoover, among many others. Those top-shelf players make the plays work. Especially the ones they have confidence in.
Alpharetta called it. Barbour even wished to change the formation out of it, too.
“I was like I definitely didn’t want to do that,” Kervin said. “That makes it even worse.”
“But it was Ethan Barbour. So we called it. We threw it up and he went and got it off his head for a touchdown. He’s just one of those guys. He understands how to get open and what we are doing and what he can do. At the end of the day, you give him the chance to go make a play and he’s going to make it for you every time.”
It is hard to find that. Especially all of that. But that’s where Barbour has delivered so far in his career.
The staff at Alpharetta believes Barbour will have a quick transition to the next level.
“Hard as you want to play,” Kervin said. “He’ll do it. Hard as you want to practice. He’ll take it straight to that level like he’s already a professional right off the bat in college. That’s why he’s going to make it in college. Because he’s built like that and he loves that elite competition.”
“There’s just too much he can do and he’s just a good kid, man. ... He’s a person you can put up on the podium and build your program around. He just gets it.”
Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with key 2024 prospects like Daniel Calhoun, Dwight Phillips Jr., Dylan Raiola and Sacovie White.
(check on the recent reads on Georgia football recruiting)