Butler's recruitment building momentum

Senior running back James Butler may be close to a Purdue offer. Boiler Sports Report caught the St. Francis (Ill.) star after his team's Friday loss to Montini. He discusses the Boilermakers and more.

LOMBARD, Ill. -- James Butler had already moved on to the next one. His St. Francis team was pounded by the Illinois' defending 5A champion, Montini. The running back was ready to help his team rebound from the 30-7 loss.

"We're going to bounce back from this one," Butler said after the game. "We lost to a great team. But I feel like we also have a great team, and we can bounce back."

St. Francis had many issues in its loss to Montini, but Butler's play wasn't among them. He posted 103 yards on the ground, carrying the full load of carries after his backup was injured early in the game.

Even with the game in hand late in the fourth quarter, Butler was pushing for every extra yard he could get. There was no quit in the running back.

The demeanor of Butler is reflected in his recruitment. The three-star saw his recruitment start slow, but he kept fighting for offers. Finally, Temple and Eastern Illinois jumped out with offers. Purdue, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State and Northern Illinois are very interested.

Purdue is waiting to see his highlight film through four games, which was submitted on Monday. A decision from the Boilermakers could be coming soon.

In June, Butler made his first impressions for Purdue when he attended its camp. The coaches were impressed, but wanted to see more. As for Butler, he's holding out hope for that offer.

"I don't really have a list of favorites," said Butler. "I'm not that highly recruited yet. But [Purdue is] high on my list."

But Butler isn't worried about his recruitment. That will progress with St. Francis wins. He's hoping to carry the team to the playoffs.

"Hopefully, we can just make a far run [in the playoffs] and do better than we did last year," he said.

Butler says he's "not where he wants to be" just yet. His recruitment appears to be looking up. More strong performances will build his case for offers.

"You can always get better," he said. "I still have five guaranteed games left. Hopefully, after that, we have the playoffs."

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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