Pitt DB commit still open to Sun Devils

An Ohio defensive back with great size and length, Tony Butler is committed to Pitt but still considering Arizona State and other schools.

Ohio defensive back Tony Butler said he is still solidly commitment to Pitt, but that doesn't mean his recruitment is over.

Butler also said he is still keeping his options open and has interest a couple schools besides Pitt, Arizona State being one of them.

“I’m thinking that I got to make the right choice, got to make the right decision,” Butler said. “(I’m) not necessarily second-guessing myself, but I just want to ensure that I making the right decision because you know, you only live this life once and you only go through this process once. So I’m definitely, I’m just taking it slow right now. You know, just soaking everything in.”

Butler went on to say that he has a top five list of schools in mind and will be releasing it either in May or June. He did confirm that Arizona State will be on that list.

A 6-foot-2, 190-pound cornerback from St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio -- west of Cleveland -- said he has 19 total offers.

So far Butler said he is interested in Arizona State because of his conversations with coaches, the Sun Devils’ defensive scheme and because ASU competes in the Pac-12.

This summer, Butler said he is focusing on his upcoming high school football season. He said he will not make a trip to ASU in the offseason but he will visit after his high school season concludes.

Butler said he has been speaking with ASU co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ball and defensive graduate assistant Ray Brown.

According to Butler, Ball and Brown do not just talk to him about football and he enjoys that.

“They’re real cool (and) down to earth,” Butler said. “We talk about anything really. We talk about sports beyond football. You know, we just talk. We have just regular conversations. We don’t have like the normal recruiting thing all the time because that kind of gets annoying and gets overwhelming.”

Butler said the coaches told him he could play either corner or safety in the Sun Devils’ system.

Living on the eastern time zone, Butler said it was difficult to watch entire games when ASU played. When he stayed up late, he said he liked to see the defense use a lot of defensive backs.

He said he saw defensive formations using five defensive backs and the nickel cornerback. Butler said he likes the scheme and could see himself as one of the defensive backs on the field.

Ball and Brown and head coach Todd Graham will have to compete with new Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi to pull Butler away.

Butler said it was actually Narduzzi’s work at Michigan State that got him interested in Pitt.

Butler said he grew up a Spartans fan. The former Michigan State defensive coordinator took the Pitt job and Butler said he had a Pitt offer. Butler called it a “no-brainer” to make his verbal commitment to Pitt.

In his recruitment process, Butler said he is mainly to find a school where he feels comfortable and at home. He said that will be especially important when he considers Arizona State.

“If I go to Arizona State, I’m going to be like 17, 18 hours (driving) away from home so that’s definitely one of the things that’s going to play a factor is do I feel comfortable being this far away from home,” Butler said.

One aspect about playing so far away from Ohio does intrigue Butler. Playing for ASU means playing in the Pac-12 and Butler said ASU is the only Pac-12 school that has shown interest in him.

After watching ASU and other Pac-12 schools, Butler said he is impressed with the athleticism in the conference and the overall speed of the players.

“They play in the Pac-12 so that’s a big interest,” Butler said. “Going against Oregon, Arizona, USC, UCLA, that’s definitely appealing. They went 10-3 last year so that’s great. That’s a winning program. They’re on the rise.”

Butler said he will take part in a Nike football training camp with the hopes of being invited the Nike Opening regional in Columbus, Ohio on May 31.

He said will not be partaking in any other combines. He said he might participate in one college camp this summer at either Michigan State or Penn State, but has not full committed to attending either yet.


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