Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga cornerback Devin Butler is one candidate for that final slot. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, he can be an intimidating presence lined up over a wide receiver. However, thanks to his lack of experience - his junior year was only his second playing football - he isn’t yet highly ranked. Being named a three-star prospect and the No. 24 cornerback in the nation didn’t scare away Michigan’s coaches, however.
“I’ve been talking to [Michigan defensive backs coach Curt] Mallory and [defensive coordinator Greg] Mattison,” Butler said. “They’ve been telling me that with the size they see in me and the raw talent with the speed, that they can really form me into a prime time corner.”
An offer from the Wolverines landed for Butler in the middle of Feburary, and he’s using his spring break to check out Ann Arbor, along with several other campuses in the Midwest. He’ll also see Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Ohio State on his trip. The visit to Michigan took place on Saturday.
“I really wanted to get to spend time with the players,” he said. “Then I really want to get around the students, and see more of the city. I have a good feel for the coaches, and I know I feel comfortable with them. I really want to see if I’ll feel comfortable with the students, the players, and the city itself.”
He took in a spring practice and got a chance to speak with Michigan’s coaches Saturday, and although he wants to finish his tour before speaking at length about his visit, Butler enjoyed himself. Upon returning home to Washington, he plans to start narrowing his list.
U-M’s coaching staff is hoping that the impression they made will be enough to get them onto his short list. Even though Butler isn’t highly-ranked early in the process, he seems to be just what the defensive masterminds in Ann Arbor are looking for. The question now becomes whether they have what it is he is seeking.