Devin Butler (Cornerback, 6'1" 180)Irisheyes.com recruiting analyst Dave Berk interviewed Butler multiple times during the 2012 season. The Gonzaga Prep (Washington, D.C.) product told Berk the following in late October following a resounding Irish win in Norman over the Oklahoma Sooners:
"It's been very exciting as everybody was telling me Notre Dame was irrelevant and would never be ranked again," said Butler. "Now I sit back and look at those people and laugh as I had the faith coach Kelly had the program headed in the right direction.
"Faith played a role in my decision," said Butler. "However, it didn't weight on my decision heavily as I knew no matter what I was making a good decision on and off the field. So the success on the field helps, but it wouldn't have hurt my decision tremendously."
"It was great seeing how everybody has confidence to do their job. I feel I'll fit right in with their defense by being aggressive and overall making plays all over the field."
Veterans returning at Cornerback: Seniors Bennett Jackson (1) and Lo Wood (2), junior Josh Atkinson (2), redshirt-sophomore Jalen Brown (3), sophomores Keivarae Russell (3) and Elijah Shumate (3). Shumate could also move to safety.
Berk on Butler: Brings future potential as a defensive back providing depth at a position of need. Athletic with a nose for the ball, Butler is still a work in progress physically but shows above average quickness and agility. Also could be looked at as a wide receiver in the future if needed by the Irish.
Dohn on Butler: When all is said and done, Butler could wind up being a safety or receiver. He was recruited to play cornerback but he doesn't have burning speed. He is long and can be physical, but he needs to show he can jam receivers consistently at the line of scrimmage and show he has closing speed. He also needs to tighten up his technique when receivers come out of breaks.
O'Malley's Initial SlottingButler appears more quick and fluid than straight-line fast, and uses a physical approach on the edge to augment his natural ability to play the ball in the air. He was adept on film both going for the interception or for a full-speed pass breakup.
Butler was able to jump routes often in high school, something he'll be forced to do more judiciously at the next level where quarterbacks bring a different kind of zip on their throws and aren't as prone to lock in on one receiver.
Like most of the current roster, Butler projects well as a zone cornerback. With his fluid backpedal, he's likely well ahead of fellow CB prospect Rashad Kinlaw in man coverage, but behind potential lockdown cornerback Cole Luke. (Butler reportedly excelled in one-on-one drills at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl).
Though he'll begin at cornerback, safety isn't out of the question as his career progresses. Butler would appear to have a leg up for a special teams role as part of the Irish "run teams" (kick and punt coverage; kick and punt return).
Links of Note: Click the links below for more highlight reels and comprehensive recruitment information for Devin Butler :