Pickerington (OH) North junior DE Jake Butt is a member of the ESPNU 150 Watch List and has already earned a four-star rating from 247Sports. Though he grew up in Ohio State country and is a Buckeye fan, he's open to Michigan ($, info in header) and made it to campus for the Notre Dame game, which (as you'll read) made quite the impression.
Butt currently holds offers from Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Northwestern, Syracuse, Toledo, and UCLA, and has interest from Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and Indiana, among others. I caught up with Jake last night to discuss the early stages of his recruitment:
ACE: I know you got a couple offers in recently. How is your recruitment going right now, and which schools are showing the most interest in you?
JAKE: I just got offered by Northwestern and Syracuse. I've been getting a lot of letters from a bunch of different schools, all the way from USC and Oregon, up north to Syracuse, all the down to Miami, I've been getting letters all over the place. It's going pretty good right now, but I know I've got to work hard and try to get some more offers.
ACE: Of the teams that have been contacting you so far, do you have some early favorites, or is it too soon to say right now?
JAKE: It's too soon. I haven't got a chance to go check some of the campuses, go to a game, or go to a junior day or something—I'll go to a lot of those this year, and I'll probably be able to narrow it down based on the campuses and atmosphere.
ACE: I know you were up at Michigan for the Notre Dame game. What was that experience like for you, and what did you take away from that visit about Michigan?
JAKE: Going up there was just amazing. The game spoke for itself. We were part of a record attendance, 114,804 people, just a crazy atmosphere and the game comes down to the last play. It was just unbelievable being there. Michigan's campus is beautiful. We went with my dad and one of my friends, and he loves Michigan, so it was cool to take him up there too.
ACE: Have you been in contact with any of the coaches from Michigan specifically, and have they said what specific position they're looking at you for?
JAKE: I haven't been in contact—I'm hoping to get friend requests on Facebook or our team game tape site, hudl.com, so I'm hoping to get a friend request from Michigan. It's going pretty good, I'm just hoping to get that.
ACE: What are you looking for in a prospective school?
JAKE: Definitely a good football program with good tradition. Academics, of course, and then location—once I go up there to see what the different college are like I'll be able to narrow it down.
ACE: So would you say distance is a factor in your recruitment? Would you rather stay closer to home?
JAKE: That would be maybe the tie-breaking decision. If I get a good opportunity academic-wise and football-wise, I'll go there no matter how far it is. If it has to come down to it, it'll most likely be location.
ACE: For people that are unfamiliar with your game, how would you describe your strengths and weaknesses on the football field?
JAKE: I'm 6'6", 225 and I'm pretty athletic for my size, so I use my speed coming off the edge to get the quarterback and make plays for my team. Then on offense, my strength is probably my hands. I'm a big kid, and it helps that I have good hands. I go down the field, the quarterback throws me the ball, and as long as I can get my hands on it I've got a catch for him.
For my team, each week I find something that I did wrong in the previous game on film and I go work on that all week long. It just depends on the game, what I'm doing well and what I'm doing wrong at the time. I just talk to my coaches and work on it in practice.
ACE: I know your team got off to a strong start this season. How has the year gone for the team and for you personally?
JAKE: We're 5-1, and we were the first ever North team to start off 4-0, and almost pulled it off against Central, the closest we've been since our playoff run two years ago, so there's a lot of good going on with our team right now but we've got to work because we've got tough games the rest of the season if we're trying to finish off 9-1. Individually, I think I'm leading the team in touchdowns, receptions, and reception yards and I'm leading the team in sacks.
ACE: It seems like most schools are recruiting you as a defensive end. Is that where you think you project best at the next level?
JAKE: I really don't care what I play. I just love the sport of football. I play both sides of the ball, so wherever the school wants me, wherever they need me, I'll play anywhere.
ACE: Do you have any visits set up for the rest of the season?
JAKE: Yeah, I'm going to probably get up to the Northwestern-Penn State game and the Michigan State-Michigan game, maybe go to one other Penn State game or another Ohio State game.
I realize Brian has covered this formation extensively on the front page, but I didn't see anything about the strategy behind picking positions in the diamond. Obviously you need a QB under center to threaten a quick outside pass, so Devin Gardner or Denard needs to be there. I guess what I dont understand is why Fitz is deep with Denard either on the left or right.
To me it seems like if Fitz were on one side and Vincent Smith were on the other with Denard in the deep spot (where Fitz is in the actual formation) that there would still be the easy pitch option to the outside if Devin rolls out either direction but if it goes to the deep man (Robinson) there would still be a solid lead block from Fitz or Smith regardless of the direction of the play. Obviously Denard can block for Fitz if the play shifted his direction but I would assume this is not something the coaches would have him do in an ideal situation.
I've probably rambled a bit so here is the TL;DR version: What are the advantages to having Fitz deep instead of Denard in the Diamond formation?
Per his twitter, 2013 5* QB commit Shane Morris has been invited to the 2013 Under Armour All American Game. This shouldn't come as a big suprise considering his performance in ESPN's Gridiron Kings last year, but still good to hear.
Enhanced viewing of the Offensive UFR for the Minnesota game is now available. The viewer is a web application that lets you step through the analysis play by play or search and filter selectively based on a wide range of criteria. For any play, one click takes you to the video clip of the selected play.
This week's video clips are without audio. This is due to the source videos from MGoVideo.com and not a limitation of the viewer.
You can access the launcher page for the UFR viewer here:
It turns out that Brady Hoke sent a get well card to the ND fan who suffered a heart attack at UTL. Could we ask for a classier head coach?
Leo Staudacher told The Bay City Times (http://bit.ly/nsSFhi ) for a story published Tuesday that he got a handwritten note from Hoke on a greeting card bearing an image of Michigan’s football helmet. The note says the University of Michigan “family” was proud to care for Staudacher.
“He said, `You were in the right place,'" said Staudacher, a 69-year-old Bay City retiree.
"This isn't something that was set up by their (public relations) staff," said Staudacher, the 69-year-old Bay City retiree. "This is from a guy who cares enough about a human being to sit down with a felt pen and write a note. It's someone he doesn't know, has never met and is a Notre Dame fan, but he took the time to do it.
"If that isn't class, I don't know what is."
More anger from the ex-Buckeye camp. This from Troy Smith on his suspension is interesting.
"To tell you the truth, it had nothing to do with a $500 thing between myself and a booster," Smith said. "I took the rap for a lot of people so a lot of people wouldn't get in trouble. But that story can't be told unless I want to get back at a lot of people. I'm not that type of guy. Never will."
Who was he taking the rap for back then? More importantly, does the NCAA read the Omaha World Herald?