Abernathy said one of the key reasons he chose to pursue his college football career with the Redhawks, who are located in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is because he felt comfortable with the people and the school. He also likes the kind of people he will be learning from.
The Redhawks play in the Ohio Valley Conference, and they won the conference title last season.
"Southeast Missouri has good coaches who are all good men," Abernathy said.
He said that is true of Redhawks coach Tim McGuire, offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
Although he played guard at Adairsville, he said, Southeast is considering him as a center, a position he played earlier in his career.
"I think of it as a challenge," he said. "I'll have to prove myself there to get playing time. It will be very competitive."
Abernathy said he had considered Tusculum College in Greenville, Tenn., and Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala.
He credited Adairsville coach Jim Kremer and his coaching staff with helping him improve as a player.
"It was a great experience playing at Adairsville and for coach Kremer for two years," Abernathy said. "I just wish I could have had all four years with him as coach."
Abernathy said he plans to pursue a business degree at Southeast. "Southeast has a good business program."
He said just as important is that the school is committed to its players.
Adairsville head coach Jim Kremer said Abernathy was a big part of the Tigers success last season, through his play on the field and who he is as a person.
"Ethan is a high character individual who made the best of his skills on the field and academically," Kremer said. "He has a 3.7 GPA and scored 25 on the ACT."
The coach said Abernathy continued to show improvement the longer he played.
"Building a line has been a process at Adairsville and toward the end of last year, Ethan got a lot better," Kremer said. "He was one of the reasons our line play improved."
He said that took a lot of work on the part of the Tiger, adding Southeast can expect that same kind of commitment to its program.
"His commitment to the university will be the same as it was to Adairsville," Kremer said. "It's not easy, but Ethan is going to go and make us all proud of him."