Film Study: Josh Butler

The West Mesquite (Texas) cornerback committed to MSU on Monday, so we look at his game and what type of player the Spartans will have when he arrives on campus next fall

Michigan State has made a living with press cornerbacks in its secondary in recent years.

On the recruiting trail, the Spartans have followed suit, bringing in more players who fit the scheme perfectly.

As we break down the film of the most recent MSU commit, cornerback Josh Butler, that is exactly what we see:

The Good

It doesn’t take more than a couple plays to see why Michigan State – and so many others – covet Butler’s abilities. He is a strong cornerback with good press skills, who plays comfortably close to the line of scrimmage. He plays physically with his hands and sticks with a wide receiver well consistently.

What you like most about Butler are how sharply his instincts and route recognition shine. He reads plays and reacts with great ability.

In coverage, his hips are quick and fluid as he turns and runs downfield well, but also shows the ability to stop and make a break on the ball with quickness.

He is a prototypical one on one, press coverage cornerback and Harlon Barnett has to be excited about having Butler and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s cornerback Tyson Smith in the 2015 class.

The Bad

There is no doubt about Butler’s ability to cover in any capacity, but his film does not show much in the department of tackling. Spare a couple of plays in the run game, Butler is not seen much coming up in run support. While Michigan State asks a lot of its defensive backs in coverage, it also asks a lot of them in being complete players and coming up against the run and making hits.


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