Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
Recruiting is now in full swing for the 2016 class and the Hoosiers have once again placed a priority on adding talent to the secondary. That’s why it should not come as a surprise that head coach Kevin Wilson and his staff have targeted defensive back prospect Tony Butler. The talented Ohio native announced via twitter on Monday evening that he had received an offer from Indiana. Hoosier Huddle had the opportunity to speak Butler about his offer from IU among other things earlier this week.
“It was tremendous to get an offer from them,” Butler said when we talked with him earlier this week. “I’m looking forward to building a relationship with them and seeing how far it goes. I know kids from Ohio like Shane Wynn have went over there and shined. Plus, it was great because of them being in the Big Ten. I think the Big Ten is the best football conference. It signifies what football is all about, it’s tough, smash mouth, cold and blustery.”
“Indiana offered me as safety, some schools are offering at corner, while others are offering as both. But it doesn’t really matter what position, I just want to play,” Butler responded when asked which positions he's being recruited for.
The three-star prospect had a strong junior season at St. Edwards High School this past fall, recording 27 tackles, 10 pass breakups, three interceptions and one fumble recovery during the team’s journey to a Division I Ohio State Championship. Butler cherished the victory but already has shifted his eyes towards next season.
“It was an amazing feeling, especially playing with the seniors, seeing them grow and having them watch me grow as a player. Plus it was our second one in five years and the whole community was raving about us, which was neat. “Now that they’ve (seniors) signed off though, it’s my class’ time to shine and put our mark on things, get a championship of our own”
The long, rangy defensive back finds himself immolating players of comparable size and skill, finding inspiration prior to hitting the gridiron. “I would say I model my game after Pierre Desir (Cleveland Browns Cornerback) and Richard Sherman, he said. They both have similar skillsets, tall lanky corners, 6-foot 2, and I’m 6-foot 1 and a half, so we are about the same size. Both of those guys are having a major impact. I watch their film every time before I hit the field, they are players I look up to and admire.”
When deciding which school to attend, Butler is factoring in more than just the four years he'll spend there, but how will it prepare him for the rest of his life.“Most critical factor to me when picking a school is tradition, and not just in terms of national championships and winning on the field, but also winning in the classroom, winning in life. What types of job opportunities will I have when I get out of school,” he said. “I realize that I won’t be playing football my entire life, so I need to make sure I have a good education so I can get a good job when I’m done. My family and I really value education and we want to make sure wherever I end up going I’m learning a lot in the classroom as well on the field.”
While football takes up a majority of his time with trainings, camps, and showcases, he still tries to find time for other interests. “Something most people don’t know is that I’m real big in art, poetry, graphic art, classical art and music. I really like Maya Angelou, the way she puts words together, they flow so nicely.”
Butler said that he doesn’t have a trip to Bloomington setup, but said there’s a chance he could make a visit next month. “(I’m) trying to plan one now. They are trying to get me to come in March, which works really well for me because I’ll have a couple of weeks off transitioning to outdoor track.”
In addition to offers from Indiana, Bowling Green, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Miami (OH), Purdue, and Toledo, Butler said he is also hearing from West Virginia, Penn State, Michigan State, and Oklahoma. When asked when he might decide between all of his options, “Probably end up making it around November, December, after my season. I want to make a couple visits, explore, I don’t want to do it during the season because it could be a distraction to me and my teammates. I want to take some visits this summer and at least three official visits before making my decision. I’d like to have it down to five schools before season starts.”