Butler Begins Camp Tour

James Butler missed his junior season after changing schools. It caused him to play catch-up in recruiting. He looks to take the next step in that regard during the next two weeks when he'll camp at Iowa and three other Big Ten schools.

James Butler's connection to Iowa could have collapsed on a coupe of occasions. Instead, it's survived and might advance when the Chicago running back camps at the school on Sunday.

"I just talked to Coach (Jim) Reid," Butler said Thursday afternoon. "He said that he really likes my sophomore film and he wants to get me there to time me in the 40."

Butler has no junior film after the Illinois High School Association ruled him ineligible following his transfer to St. Francis from Bartlett High. He talked about the situation here.

Iowa continued recruiting Butler while others backed off. Assistant Lester Erb liked what he saw at Bartlett during the running back's sophomore season.

Iowa then lost touch with Butler this winter when Erb was let go by the school. Reid picked things back up this spring when he was hired to recruit the Chicago area for the Hawkeyes.

"I really liked Coach Erb," Butler said. "He was really in tune with my situation and he really understood where I was coming from. But Coach Reid seems to be just like that. He knows my situation pretty well, too."

Butler will camp at Illinois on Friday. The 5-foot-9, 204-pound back will then head to Purdue (June 14) and Michigan State (June 16).

Eastern Illinois and Temple have offered scholarships to Butler, he said. He's also heard quite a bit from Michigan State and Maryland recently.

While he's hoping to impress scouts at summer camps, Butler believes he'll have to show college coaches senior film to get the offers he wants.

"I'm not sure if many schools will pull the trigger right now," he said. "I'll probably just wait until the end of the year (to commit) and see what schools decide to come in."

It's been a tough time away from competition for Butler, whose last game action came in 2011.

"It feels good," he said. "Our team finally started practicing and I can finally run with the first-team now. That always feels good."

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