Hello: Jake Butt Comment Count

Ace February 19th, 2012 at 7:16 PM


Also, I'm typing this post with my forehead, so you'll have to excuse any typos. Michigan has now pulled in seven (SEVEN!!!!!!!) recruits in less than 36 hours, as Pickerington (OH) North TE Jake Butt just announced his pledge to the Wolverines after visiting Ann Arbor yesterday. Michigan now has ten total recruits in the class of 2013—nine of them consensus four-star types—and their last two both came from Pickerington (Central's Taco Charlton being the other).



Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
NR DE 4* TE,
#96 Ovr
150 Watch List
4*, 90, #10 TE

Butt is a highly-regarded prospect as both a tight end and defensive end, but the coaches have told him he'll be a TE at Michigan. He's a four-star to every site but Scout, who hasn't released extensive rankings yet, and a top-100 prospect on Rivals. The general consensus on Butt is that he stands at 6'6" and around 220-230 pounds, giving him a great frame for tight end.

Most evaluations of Butt, especially from his sophomore year and last summer, focus on his ability as a defensive end, but I did dig up a few that looked at his ability on offense. Here's Josh Helmholdt breaking down Butt's game tape ($):

The first thing you notice when turning on the tape is his frame. He is a lean 6-6 and 220 pounds and very athletic for his size. The Pickerington North staff uses him all over the field. On defense he'll play with his hand in the ground, or drop back and cover a slot receiver. On offense he can be tight to the formation and used to block or split out as a wide receiver ... he is a natural pass catcher and his speed is above average for the tight end position. He also shows great competency and willingness as a blocker. Butt is an outstanding defender and could be a big-time rush end in college, but at this stage I like his upside at tight end a little better. He has the size to block in the run game and the athleticism to be a major threat in the passing game.

Butt has the versatility to line up as a tradition tight end, H-back, or split wide, and he told me last week that the coaches plan on using him in multiple roles. With Khalid Hill committed in the class as more of an H-back, expect Butt to be the more traditional tight end in this class, playing down on the line. Allen Trieu had this to say about Butt in a Sam Webb profile at the Detroit News:

"Jake is an athletic kid with a great frame," Trieu said. "He still has to add more weight and strength to his game, but he runs well for a kid of that size and is a very coordinated athlete. On offense he catches the ball well, his height makes him a matchup problem, and his athleticism allows him to create separation. At the same time, Jake is one of those rare kids who I think projects very well to both sides of the ball. I think he's a BCS prospect on both sides of the ball. For most schools it sounds like he's a defensive end right now, but a handful see him as a tight end too."

Tim Sullivan (YTTS) says that Butt's "6-6, 230-pound frame is more than adequate for the position, and he has good hands and the ability to make plays after the catch." Jake gave his own self-assessment in the above Webb article:

"I have my size, athleticism, and I don't take a single play for granted," Butt said, confidently. "You're going to get the best from me every single play. You can't teach height, so I'm going to give that to the team. As a tight end, if the ball's thrown to me and it hits my hands, it's not touching the ground. It's a catch! On defense if it's third and long and it's a pass rush situation, I'm not going to get blocked by my opponent."

Like his Pickerington counterpart Charlton, Butt is a standout basketball player; as we've seen with NFL tight ends like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and Jimmy Graham, having a hoops background helps with athleticism, body control, and hands. Combine those qualities with a relentless motor and a willingness to mix it up in the trenches, and you've got a very good tight end prospect.


Butt chose Michigan over offers from Boston College, Duke, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCLA, Wisconsin, and a host of MAC schools. He also had interest from Ohio State—the school he grew up supporting—and Notre Dame, where his grandfather played football.


Butt had 27 catches for 427 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior, while also amassing ten sacks and 17.5 TFLs as a defensive end.


24/7 lists him at a 4.70, which I'll give a two FAKEs out of five.


This short reel from ScoutingOhio is the only embeddable junior highlight video right now, but you get to see Jake make a couple nice catches and lower the boom while blocking:

Rivals has a longer junior highlight tape, and there are also sophomore highlights of Butt playing DE.


Butt is the type of impact, all-around tight end that Michigan couldn't land in the 2012 class, when they brought in a pair of (quite different) tweeners in Devin Funchess and A.J. Williams. Given his well-rounded skill set and the fact that he has over a year to add weight before getting on campus, Butt should compete for immediate playing time at tight end. He can fill multiple roles—Michigan has both a "U" tight end (off the ball) and a "Y" tight end (on the line), and Butt could conceivably play either spot, though I expect he'll spend more time on the line if he's paired with Funchess or Hill.

Butt's potential is probably the highest of any of Michigan's tight end recruits from the past couple of classes, and in an offense that plans to use the position more extensively moving forward, he has the chance to compete for postseason honors down the road. Given the lack of depth at tight end, Butt could easily be a three-year starter at the position.


With Butt and Hill in the fold, Michigan is likely done recruiting tight ends for 2013 unless a player like Adam Breneman—who seems to be more focused on Penn State and Ohio State—decides to come calling. Even then, it could be tough to fit in a third TE to a class that should have 20-22 players, especially with ten spots already accounted for.

Also, wow. That is all.



February 19th, 2012 at 7:25 PM ^

thanks for doing all these, Ace. we all appreciate them.

semi-random thought i had last night reading through all the 'hello' posts...these are kids we probably won't here from again until 2015. kinda strange to think how obsessive we all can be, especially when they won't be red-shirt juniors until 2016. lol

M Fanfare

February 19th, 2012 at 7:38 PM ^

It's safe to say that over the next few seasons, our opponents will be experiencing...

<puts on sunglasses>

...some serious Butt-hurt.



Mr. Yost

February 19th, 2012 at 8:10 PM ^

This is one of the general reasons why I HATE Dantonio. Like totally despise his existence as a being.

He's ignorance, his arrogance, his lack of history --- or most importantly REALITY.

Part of Michigan State's success was based off the fact that Michigan had a coach who didn't recruit the area and the fact that he and his defensive coaches did their best to ruin relationships with HS Coaches in the area from what we hear. Even if we would've pulled a 4*/5* heavy class every year...they still would've been better because they would be getting 4* players that Michigan would normally have from the B1G footprint.

This is just the fact of the matter and Dantonio fails to believe in it one bit. Should he say it in public? No. However, he SHOULD just STFU and be grateful. Instead he whines and gloats and makes up his own facts for his own world.

I'm truly going to enjoy curb stomping MSU over the next 10 years. And not just Michigan, I'm going to take pleasure when Ohio does is too.

It's the Big 10 and the little 2. Take your place in line and fight for 3rd place like you're supposed to you ungrateful bastard.


February 19th, 2012 at 8:25 PM ^


the Hoke has won over several kids who grew up as Ohio fans. Taco said he was and Jake said he was too. Same with Kalis and Strobel. Especially with Urban back in town


February 19th, 2012 at 8:41 PM ^

Wow, we are getting stocked with quality TE's and HBacks.  I love the philosophy because it allows you to play both power game, as well as spread the field and go gun and not lose much physicality cause your big men are athletic enough to play in space ...I see this Offense evolving into to a quazi West Coast / Power / NE Patriots style spread... especially when Morris gets here to go along with Bellomy and Gardner... this is a solid plan


February 19th, 2012 at 8:52 PM ^

Mostly unrelated, but for all you parents (and everyone else as well), They Might Be Giants "Here Come the 123s" is a great album for adults and kids (as is "Here Come the ABCs" and "Here Comes Science").


February 19th, 2012 at 9:06 PM ^

I think this rash of kids from Ohio puts to bed any notion that Hoke won't be able to recruit Ohio now that Urban Meyer is there. If anything we will get more Ohio Pro Style kids with Urban at OSU running the spread...


February 19th, 2012 at 9:13 PM ^

MD is already startling to feel the heat from HokeMania. With is 2012 Class of all receivers that defense he love to tout is Going to look weak very soon with all the slim pickings BH and UM leave him. Good luck to May, they'll need it.