Harrington, Butler ready to shine on offense

B.J. Butler and Jalen Harrington were not listed on the updated depth chart released by the University of Louisville. But both figure to be key players for the Cardinals' offense this season after a switch from defense late last season.

The biggest surprise performances in the University of Louisville's Sugar Bowl victory over Florida in January were probably B.J. Butler and Jalen Harrington.

Both players had primarily played defense all season.

But in the weeks leading up to the bowl game, offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and tight end coach Sherrone Moore coached them up on the offensive side of the ball where they were needed because of injuries.

And they responded. Butler had two catches for 43 yards, including a 23-yard reception to the 1-yard-line to set up the second score, while Harrington had a 16-yard reception and had several key blocks.

"They're both so big and athletic and can do a lot of things," offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said. "I like their multiplicity."

The 6-foot-2, 275-pound Butler and 6-2, 235-pound Harrington were moved over to offense for the first time just before the Cincinnati game and played sparingly, mostly used for blocking by the Cardinals.

But without tight end Ryan Hubbell sidelined for the bowl game, the role in the Cardinals' game-plan expanded drastically for Butler and Harrington.

Now, the two will concentrate on offense during fall camp and are expected to be among the many options that Watson has on offense.

"We have to learn more than one position to help out on offense," Harrington said. "But that makes more of a threat and gives me more of a role on offense."

Harrington said he has been working hard in the offseason to "make sure people know I am one of the best on the field." He said he's expecting to play some from the tight end and fullback slots this season.

"I feel confident in my abilities," Harrington said. "I just have to stay in the film room and keep studying my position and make sure I do whatever I can do to help out the team this season."

Butler said the original move to offense was "confusing at first," but he noted the transition has been "really good."

"My role is to block first and then go out on the pass route second," he said. "My junior year of high school, I played quarterback and my senior year I played quarterback, wide receiver and tight end. But it was mostly all defense for me.

"Now, I think offense is really my spot."

Butler said he's preparing hard for the season but still has looked back at the Sugar Bowl a few times, noting "I didn't think I was down."

He was referring to the catch to set up the TD. He originally was ruled in the end zone but it was overturned on replay and played at the 1-yard-line.

"That OK," he said with a smile. "Hopefully, I can show what I can do again. I just feel so right on offense, it just feels like home to me."

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