One quarterback battling for the starting position for Arkansas State has had his share of experience, knowledge and adversity.
Hugh Freeze, the first year head coach, made it clear during fall camp that he would have a package for Butterfield and that the talented sophomore would see a lot of playing time.
That was until the Red Wolves first scrimmage, when Butterfield endured a season ending knee injury.
Butterfield isn't shy talking about what Aplin has mean't to him the past two years, and looking forward to the opportunity this spring to prove to a new coaching staff that he is ready to take the reigns that Aplin has left.
"Ryan has been like a big brother to me," Butterfield told AStateNation in an earlier interview. "He taught me so much on and off the field. How to handle success and how to handle adversity. He was always there for me encouraging me every step of the way."
Last season Butterfield found himself behind Aplin and Freddie Knighten on the depth chart, in his second offensive system in three seasons.
Now the talented Arkansas native finds himself with his third head coach in three years and again a new offensive system, but Butterfield appears that he couldn't be happier.
"It's a clean slate for all of us," Butterfield said. "While the offense is a little different, it's not a huge difference. The coaches have made it clear that everyone has the opportunity to win the starting job, it's in our hands, I couldn't ask for a better situation."
Butterfield is excited about proving that it's his time to shine, that this is his year to lead the Pack.
"We have so much talent on the offensive side of the ball," Butterfield said. "We have a ton of talent at every position on the offensive side of the ball."
Experiencing back to back win Sun Belt Conference Championships and 10 win seasons even on the sidelines, makes Butterfield hungrier than ever.
"To see where we were and how far we came is amazing," Butterfield said. "It's been a honor to be a part of these teams no matter what my role was. Now it's time to earn the starting role."
One thing the talented signal caller isn't lacking is experience and confidence.
"I definitely feel that I'm in the mix," Butterfield said. "I'm feeling on top of my game, I'm healthier than ever."
Butterfield is quick to point out another thing he learned from Aplin.
"He taught me what it takes to win," Butterfield said. "He also taught me how to prepare (how to workout) win."
New Head Coach Bryan Harsin has said from day one taking over the Red Wolf program that finding a quarterback with great accuracy was key.
"I'm throwing the ball better than ever," Butterfield said. "One thing I have learned over the last couple of years that to go out and play every play like there is no tomorrow."
This past Monday Harsin praised Butterfield for his play this spring.
"Right now Phillip is starting to get more of the reps with the first team," Harsin said. "He and Stephen Hogan are showing up a lot, Chandler is doing ok and we will have a package for Freddie as well."