Tight End, 6-foot-6, 220-pounds
Pickerington North (Pickerington, Ohio)
National Rank: Four-star Prospect, No. 5 TE Overall
Jake Butt Video.
His Recruiting Story
Pickerington North (Ohio) tight end Jake Butt committed to the Wolverines last February. Jake says he can catch any ball that can come his way.
"If it hits my hands, it is not coming back out, at least that what my coach is telling me," Butt said confidently. "No matter what, even if it is one-handed, (I'm) bringing it in for a catch."
With the emergence of Michigan freshman tight end Devin Funchess this past season, Butt should give the Wolverines a nice tandem at tight end for the foreseeable future.
"It's an honor to even be compared in the same sentence as Devin," Butt said in a September interview. "He's having a great season right now, and I just got to work my butt off to get to the level he is."
During his senior season, Butt helped guide Pickerinton North to a 12-2 record and deep playoff run. He was named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas and was able to compete against some of the nation's best. He used the experience to get used to playing in the set position on the line of scrimmage, something he wasn't used to in high school.
"A lot of the time this season I was standing up," Butt said in last month's interview with GoBlueWolverine. "They had me with my hand down here. So I am just trying to absorb as much of the coaching as possible, because that's what I'll be doing up in Ann Arbor."
Ohio recruiting analyst Bill Greene had a chance to see Butt play a few times this past season, and had this to say about the future Wolverine.
"I like him, because he is a pass catching tight end," Greene explained. "He's got great size and strength. He can run. He can get open down the seam. He's a guy that you have to account for in the passing game. He could be a matchup problem for a linebacker with his athletic ability. He's got the size to overpower a safety. He's got a long way to go in his blocking. But for Michigan to line him up inline against a defensive end, he won't be doing that for a while. But he is a guy that as a flex tight end. In that regard, I think he can play right now. To be an inline tight end and line up and knock people off the ball, I think he will need to add some bulk. The potential is there with his size and athleticism."
While Butt may not be New England Patriots pro bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski, he is certainly has the physical makeup to be. He still has to bulk up physically; however, he looks ready to see the field as a freshman. He should make an impact—like Funchess did last season—as a freshman who makes plays for the Michigan offense. He will create mismatch problems for linebackers and is too big for safeties to cover one-on-one. He is an early enrollee, so the more time he has to learn the play book, only helps out his chances of playing early. He is the No. 5 tight end in the country and his ranking is justified.
"They said there are only about four guys that they are going to have when I get there so we're all going to be competing for spots," Butt explained on competing early at Michigan. "I think that is definitely a sign that I could be playing from day one. They said that I can fit in at both of their tight end positions. They have a y-back and u-back. One is more hand down on the line. The other is kind of off the line a little bit. They said they can use me at both. I'm going to be a guy that can catch a lot of balls at either position and really help their team. They said that I'm the tight end that they're going to build their program around."