Jake Butt Tears ACL

Submitted by Seth on February 13th, 2014 at 10:36 AM



Per UM's Twitter:

Butt was Michigan's best option to be a catchy-blocky tight end so this is Not Good.

I wouldn't automatically count him as a redshirt; recovery from ACL tears these days is really fast, though not guaranteed to be. FWIW Jake Ryan tore his on March 20 last year and made it back in late October. If Butt can recover at Ryan speed he'll be back for the conference games.

Either way the intervening months were going to be especially important for Butt to get comfortable in the offense and gain the requisite weight to get beyond the largely Just a Receiver™ role he played last year. Likelihood of Ian Bunting's shirt being burned just shot through the stratosphere, since extant options are A.J. Williams and Khalil Hill.

Silver lining: MORfleet? Fortunately Nussmeier seems to be much less reliant on TEs, going 3- and 4-wide quite often at Washington, so this can be mitigated somewhat by more slot receiver sets.


Jeffy Fresh

February 13th, 2014 at 11:04 AM ^

Depends on if other structures are damaged. Meniscus tears are frequent with ACLs, as are cartilage injuries. Jake was a special case and I wouldn't count his recovery as the norm. Can he be back in 7 months? Yeah but to be 100% it takes a few more months and if he is sore or still weak then it is prudent to give him more time. Not Derrick Rose time but time nonetheless.


February 13th, 2014 at 10:59 AM ^

I think you're thinking of Paskorz. I've heard his name a lot, but I don't remember ever seeing him play. Plus, there's always Funchess, who I know was better off playing WR than TE, but is at least TE sized.

Losing Butt definitely hurts, as he was already looking the part of the pass-catching/blocking dual-threat TE, but there are at least bodies to take his place. Which hasn't always been the case with recent injuries.


February 13th, 2014 at 10:50 AM ^

At this point I'd almost rather he redshirt.  Use Hill, Houma and Shallman as H-backs to mitigate his loss for the season along with MOARFleet in the slot.  

Let him recover, gain weight and watch film.  Use bowl practices as a way to test the ACL live and then bring him back in '15 as the blocky-catchy destroyer of worlds.  I think it's a better way forward than to bring him back at only half strength for half a season.


February 13th, 2014 at 10:53 AM ^

I'm about sick of this. It always seems to happen at a key position too (well, on our team we can't afford to lose the waterboy let alone a rising star like JB)


February 13th, 2014 at 11:02 AM ^

I don't know that it is a "key position." There are plenty of ways to run an offense with limited contributions from the TE position, and there are plenty of bodies who can take Butt's place. As theguy49503 points out earlier in the thread, you don't need them to be world beaters. Just decent.


February 13th, 2014 at 12:13 PM ^

Agree re: human bodies, but training definitely has to do with it too.  How many torn ACLs have we seen in the offseason since the S&C coach changed?  I'd be interested to see if M's numbers are in line with those of other D1 school.

Also, this article suggests that S&C can have a lot to do with knee injuries and coming back from them:




February 13th, 2014 at 11:08 AM ^

Take what time is needed. As I read elsewhere, I think it may alter the type of sets Nuss runs. The downside is that some of the recruits are looking to see what type of Michigan Nuss runs. If they get away from using the tight ends, it may have an impact on their decisions. I'm hoping Bunting does come through as he will be 1) another freshman playing and 2) maybe the best at showing what Nuss intends to do going forward.

I assume Funchess will also play more tight end which has been Hoke's intention anyway.


February 13th, 2014 at 11:08 AM ^

is that most of these injuries happen to key players or guys who are poised to have a big year. Drake Johnson, Jake Ryan, Onset Pipkins, now Jake Butt. Come on!!!

Ron Utah

February 13th, 2014 at 11:20 AM ^

Jake Butt had a great freshman year and was poised to have a huge sophomore campaign.  This is a big loss.

I wish Jake a speedy and healthy recovery, and look forward to his return.  He's going to be a great player for Michigan.

Jeffy Fresh

February 13th, 2014 at 11:21 AM ^

That info usually isn't made public, a lot of it is seen better at the time of operation anyway. The big thing to understand is that acl recovery cannot really be that well predicted. Two people can undergo the exact same procedure and one be ready to go months before the other.

steve sharik

February 13th, 2014 at 1:12 PM ^

With Bo around (1990 - 1st 11 games of 2006):

157-47-3 (76.6%), 105-28-2 B1G (78.5%), 8 B1G titles (in 16 seasons), 7 BCS-level bowl games, 9 bowl wins

After Bo's death (last 2 games of 2006 season - present):

50-41 (54.9%), 27-30 B1G (47.4%), 0 B1G titles (in 7 seasons), 1 BCS bowl, 2 bowl wins

Subtracting out Rodriguez for the haters:

35-19 (64.8%), 21-12 B1G (63.6%), 0 B1G titles (in 4 seasons), 1 BCS bowl, 2 bowl wins

Now, I don't believe in curses and was joking in my post above, but you must admit the "before/after" data is striking.


February 13th, 2014 at 12:02 PM ^

Now you guys see why Rich was all about those extra 20 minutes of stretching.

 Seriosly tho mandatory Yoga classes for all football players starting yesterday.


February 13th, 2014 at 12:08 PM ^

Michigan's average with ACL injuries happening to critical players during Hoke's tenure....

Jake Ryan

Russell Bellomy

Jake Butt

.....yep, we're batting about 1.000....fuck.


February 13th, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

We can't have nice things because we break them with ACL injuries.


But seriously, this news does suck.  All ACL injuries are different, but just using pure conjecture here, let's say Butt takes another month longer than Ryan to recover.  This would basically set up a similar timeframe like Ryan from last year, where Butt could in theory start playing the first game after the Bye Week on Oct. 18th, which would be the Oct. 25th game @ Michigan State.  And that's a moderate projection.  Wildily optimistic is Ryan schedule, which brings him back before conference play.  Anything more pessimistic and you're probably looking at just the final two games of the season.  And it seems to me Ryan was not at 100% for the first few games anyway.


As bad as this news is though, I don't think it's nearly as terrible as the Jake Ryan injury.  Ryan was a veteran player and a pivotal part of our defense.  Butt is a young guy with huge upside potential, but is only a utility player.  This is not an All-Conference center or our starting QB that went down here.  Plus, as others have said, it's possible the new offensive scheme might involve more slot receivers and fewer tight end plays anyway.


For those reasons, I'm inclined to go with red shirt unless there are extenuating circumstances.  If the drop-off in TE production is truly awlful, if the TE usage is just as high as it was last year, if we are in the midst of a serious run at the Big Ten Championship and his depth could add significantly to to that run, then under some of those scenarios I could see burning his eligibility.  


But if playing Butt next year means just a marginal additional risk of going 9-3 instead of 8-4, then I'd be inclined to have him to take the injury red shirt, lift weights like a madman, fully digest the playbook, and become a monster in 2015.

MMB 82

February 13th, 2014 at 1:35 PM ^

As someone also status-post ACL reconstruction (with medial meniscus tear), I feel for all the Jakes and other Wolverine ACLs. The rehab takes time, it is learning to trust your knee again after the repair that is the real challenge. Get well soon!