Former Virginia Tech LB Isi Etute to play for Iowa community college after being found not guilty of murder

Former Virginia Tech linebacker Isi Etute, who was found not guilty in May in a count related to a catfishing program, will enroll at Iowa Western Community College for the 2022 football season, his attorney confirmed Monday.

Etute entered the transfer portal in June, but his attorney, James Turk, said it was difficult to find Division I schools willing to offer a scholarship after the much-publicized process.

Etute was charged with second-degree murder while Jerry Smith was living in Blacksburg, Virginia, in May 2021 following a catfishing case in which Smith posed online as a woman to lure college-age men into his apartment for sex.

Etute was a freshman linebacker at Virginia Tech when he first met Smith through the dating app Tinder. Smith used the alias “Angie Renee” and used photos of a woman to hide his identity.

During their first encounter, Etute received oral sex along with $50 from Smith at an apartment near the Virginia Tech campus. Etute met with Smith again on May 31, 2021, hoping to determine if the person he knew as “Angie Renee” was actually a man, according to what he testified in court. After using his cell phone flashlight to see Smith’s face, Etute punched Smith several times and kicked Smith in the face before leaving the apartment.

Etute testified that he saw Smith grabbing his mattress and fearing for his life. Police discovered a knife hidden between Smith’s mattress and box spring.

On May 27, 2022, a jury in Christiansburg, Virginia, found Etute not guilty and conceded that his self-defense argument was plausible.

After the trial, Turk said the former three-star recruit deserved the opportunity to restart his football career.

“I think he earned the right to go back to school and to advance in his academic and athletic career,” Turk said outside the courthouse. “I think the school that ends up taking him is probably going to be a lot smarter and a much smarter and exceptional athlete.”

Three other Virginia Tech players who testified at Etute’s trial have also since transferred from the school. Jordan Brunson and Jalen Hampton, who accompanied Etute at the time of the murder but did not enter Smith’s home, traveled to Miami, Ohio and Elon, respectively. Da’Shawn Elder, who accompanied Etute to his first meeting with Smith but left before any sexual encounters occurred, remains on the transfer portal.

Iowa Western finished last season 10-1 and finished second in the NJCAA Division I rankings.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/34294436/former-virginia-tech-lb-isi-etute-play-iowa-community-college-being-found-not-guilty-murder Former Virginia Tech LB Isi Etute to play for Iowa community college after being found not guilty of murder

Emma Bowman

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