Position: Running Back
School: St. Francis (Ill.)
Height, Weight: 5-9, 196 lbs.
What you missed: There weren't many bright spots for St. Francis to take after its loss to defending champion Montini. But the play of star running back James Butler is certainly something to be pleased with.
Butler racked up a workmanlike 100 yards on the ground, carrying the load for his team when the backup was injured early in the game. While St. Francis struggled throughout the game, Butler made the most of his carries and gave the offense a little bit of life. Montini's defense is loaded, with several college-caliber athletes posing a stiff test. Butler showed he can run with the best in the state.
Scouting Report: James Butler is a fun one to watch play. At the next level, Butler won't beat you with blazing speed or truck through a defender. But he'll be a consistent, reliable running back. That was evident in Friday's contest with Montini, where he had to earn each yard. You see it in each carry, where Butler is able to find the right move to break by a defender—whether it's cutting to the inside or rolling down the sidelines. He's a tremendous cutter and just a very smart running back. College coaches are starting to buy in.
Offers: Eastern Illinois, Temple
Quote to note: "I don't really have a list of favorites. I'm not that highly recruited yet. But [Purdue is] high on my list." --James Butler, on where he stands with Purdue.
Recruiting Breakdown: The recruitment of James Butler has been a curious case. He finally began to gain serious major-conference interest in the summer, that following a long tour of camp stops. Purdue was one of the schools that gained interest after he put on a strong performance in West Lafayette. But the Boilermakers, like most others, were looking to see film from his first four games, in order to see whether he's the real deal. Purdue coaches should be giving a look at his film this week, and an offer could be coming soon.
Highlights from first four games: