Sun Devils still impressing Butler

Former Pitt commit Tony Butler still considers Arizona State as a leader a month after re-opening his recruitment.

Defensive back Tony Butler is starting over.

In early July, the 3-star safety was a soft commit to Pittsburgh but told SunDevilSource that Arizona State was actually his leader. A day later, Butler decommitted. He's now looking at a new group of schools.

Butler said Pittsburgh dropped his scholarship offer. With Pitt out of the picture, the safety from St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, said Arizona State, Clemson, Michigan, Minnesota, Rutgers and West Virginia are his top six schools.

At this point, Butler knows he'd like to visit Arizona State officially. Others, he's not sure on quite yet.

ASU was one of the schools recruiting Butler before he committed to Pitt. He said he has a strong relationship with safeties coach Chris Ball and their dialogue hasn't changed since he re-opened his recruitment.

“It’s normal conversations like how we used to do it before I was committed,” Butler said. “We just talk about football, my position, my interest in them, what’s going on in my life, what’s going on in his life football wise and things like that. We’re definitely very close.”

Butler is a 6-foot-1, 190 pound prospect who ranked the No. 1 safety in Ohio and No. 35 at the position in the country. ASU, however, is recruiting him as a cornerback according to Butler.

As Butler looks to make a new commitment, two factors are very important to him. He does not want to stay on the sideline long and he wants to find the school where he will in well.

Butler said he has done his research on ASU and found out the Sun Devils only enrolled one defensive back to their 2015 class.

He has also spoken to Ball about the future depth chart. Butler said Ball told him the defense is going to lose five defensive backs next year.

So far, ASU has two defensive back commits. The Sun Devils have the verbal commitments of 3-star junior college transfer cornerback J’Marcus Rhodes from Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas, and 3-star cornerback Robbie Robinson from Demantha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Butler said Ball told him the coaches want to sign four defensive backs in his class. Butler likes ASU’s depth chart and thinks he can make a quick impact in Tempe.

“I feel like I can be one of the top guys that can come in and maybe compete for a spot,” Butler said. “That’s no shade to anyone who’s at ASU right now that’s grinding, but I just feel like I’m one of the better players to come in and just compete for a spot, really come in and play early as a true freshman.”

Butler has not been to the ASU campus yet.

On the trip, he wants to sit down with coaches and have an honest conversation about playing time and how he would fit in the ASU defensive scheme.

He also wants to talk with current players and observe the team’s culture. Butler believes every team has a different culture and Butler wants to be part of specific type of team.

“I want a family based type of culture, definitely and a tough one too, you know, tough love,” Butler said. “My coaches were very hard on me last year and that’s why I became so good because I was always hard coached…Coaches like that really make the best players. So that’s what I’m really looking for.”

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