2014 JCA O-Lineman Impresses At Camps

Joliet Catholic has been a football powerhouse in Illinois high school ranks for many years now. It keeps turning out college-level prospects year after year, including Illini redshirt freshman Josh Ferguson. Among the 2014 prospects at JCA this year is J.B. Butler, who camped at NFTC and an Illinois satellite camp.

J.B. Butler is a promising upcoming junior at Joliet Catholic. The offensive lineman attended the recent Nike Football Training Camp and shared his excitement about all the early recruiting interest coming his way.

"I'm getting a bunch of interest from colleges, and it's pretty fun. I've got no offers yet, but I'm talking to Northwestern, Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt a bunch, a lot of Big 10 schools including Michigan State."

The 6'-2", 260 pounder has a busy summer planned.

"I'm going to the Illinois camp at Lincoln-Way East June 11. I'm also going to camps at Northwestern, Michigan State and potentially Northern Illinois."

He credits much of the early recognition to the success his high school has enjoyed. JCA finished second in the Class 5-A, losing a barnburner to Lombard Montini despite running back Ty Isaac gaining over 500 yards on the ground.

"It's a plus when you get deep in the playoffs every year. And get to play at Illinois for a state championship. Having Ty Isaac helps a bunch, but he needs a line to block for him also.

"Ty had a great game in the state championship. I think I did pretty well also. And I had a good year; it was fun."

Butler agrees the quality of his coaching staff makes everyone on the team better.

"Yeah, it does. They get you to the next level. That's awesome."

Considering JCA passes rarely, it is no surprise what Butler's best traits are as an offensive lineman, and what he needs to improve before college.

"I'm a good run blocker, obviously. At JCA, all we do is block. I'm really physical. And I can move, I can run a little bit for a big guy. I want to work on my pass blocking. And learning to use my hands more."

Athletics and academics are equally important when it comes to selecting a college.

"I like to win. I also like tradition and atmosphere. Also, I realize schools are four-year commitments. You've got to graduate first before you can do anything. I want to be a lawyer."

Butler, who says Illini running back Josh Ferguson is a close friend, expects JCA to dominate again this fall.

"We should have a great team this year, as good as last year. It should be fun. We are missing pretty much our whole offensive line besides me, and we lost running back Malin Jones. But we'll be good."

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