Butler Confident in Abilities

When the University of Miami football team lost pre-season All-American left tackle Eric Winston to a season ending knee injury, they knew somebody would have to step up.

That man is Rashad Butler.

"I feel good. I haven't played it (left tackle) since last year, but I am going to take it in stride and try to get better. I'm gonna try and fill his shoes or even fill it better," a confident Butler said.

Larry Coker echoed Butler's confidence saying, "I feel really good about Rashad. He was a guy that we felt we took a hit when we lost him (to injury). He's smart, tough, and he cares."

Guard Chris Myers is also excited about the opportunity that Butler has and is confident in what he can bring to the table.

"We know he has experience, and he can pick up from wherever he (Winston) left off," said Myers.

So far Rashad likes what he sees in the offense, especially the running game.

"The offense is starting to gel," Butler said. "We made a couple of mistakes, but I think we are getting better with each game. The running game is coming along great. We just gotta work a little harder."

Rashad is getting this chance at left tackle because Winston injured his knee Saturday against Georgia Tech with 10:28 remaining in the fourth quarter. Winston tore his anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, and a minor tear of the posterior cruciate ligament. He is out for the remainder of the season.

"Eric's spirits are real good." Butler said. "He's come to the meetings and helped out the guys that play behind him."

Butler, from Palm Beach Gardens and 6-5 286 pounds, is not a stranger to the tackle position. Before the season began, Butler was expected to start at right tackle, but an ankle injury sidelined him for the early part of the season. He says the ankle now "feels great".

Center Joel Rodriguez is also confident that Butler is the right man for the job.

"Rashad brings some athleticism and a pretty good knowledge of the game. He's been playing a lot these last couple of years," said Rodriguez.

While Butler knows that it is unfortunate that Winston is hurt, he believes it is his time to shine.

"Things happen for a reason and it's sad to see a guy of his caliber go down, cause it would have been nice to have us both in there. But you gotta move on and take it in stride, you can't look at the past."

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