Iowa Checks Out IL Back

James Butler and Iowa have had a relationship for a while and things recently have picked up between the Big Ten school and the running back. Hawkeye Assistant Chris White watched Butler in person on Friday and offered him some feedback. Get the latest in this premium story.

Following a year away from competition, James Butler is making up for lost time. The Chicago-area running back's play is attracting attention from college scouts.

Iowa is one of the schools showing increased interest this fall, he said. Hawkeye Assistant Chris White watched Butler and his (Wheaton, IL) St. Francis teammates in action Friday night.

"We communicated on Twitter," Butler said. "He said I was very impressive and that I played a phenomenal game on offense; even on defense."

Iowa recruited Butler at his previous school, Bartlett (IL) High, when he was a sophomore. He transferred to St. Francis before last season and state rules required him to sit out and miss his junior campaign.

"The year has helped me a lot, in my opinion," the 5-foot-9, 207-pounder said "The only thing it slowed down is my recruitment. I really got the chance to evolve my game and become the best all-around player I could be.

"I'm so much faster and stronger than before and it's obvious on my film. All my cuts are a lot quicker than they were before. Core6 helped me become a better catching back out of the backfield. I've also improved on my pass protection, which is huge at the next level."

Former assistant Lester Erb started Butler's recruitment for Iowa but has since moved to Nevada and been replaced by White. Things cooled off for a while between the Hawkeyes and the back, but that changed once he returned to the field.

"They've really stepped it up a notch and became more active," Butler said.

Iowa has invited Butler out for a game. He camped at the school this summer and has unofficially visited there before.

"I'm not completely sure (when) but I know I will make it out for at least one (game)," Butler said.

Butler reports scholarship offers from Temple and Eastern Illinois. Erb is recruiting him to his new school.

"I might take officials to Nevada and Temple but no dates are set yet," Butler said.

Butler cruised to 131 yards on 20 carries with White in the house on Friday during a 26-20 loss at Marmion Academy. He recorded two touchdowns on the ground, including a 63-yard jaunt. He has posted at least 100 yards rushing in all of the games in which he's play but one, when he had 93 on four totes.

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