Video by Brice Marich, story by Josh Henschke
Michigan has a goldmine of potential waiting in the ranks at the tight end position.
U-M senior tight end Jake Butt is also at the forefront as someone who is expected to have a big impact on the offensive side of the football this season. However, perhaps to his relief, he doesn't have to be the only tight end that can contribute this season. In fact, the Wolverines have a handful of players it could sub in at any given time to make a play.
That's something Butt has taken notice of.
"It's going to be a special year for us as tight ends," Butt said. "For the first time in a long time, we've got - we just took a tight end picture with probably 10, 11 guys. I'm used to having four or five and maybe three or four that are healthy. We're deep, so that's always good. Having guys that we can rotate. It's also good that we've got talent and a good mixture of experience and leadership."
Being the only senior in the group, the younger tight ends will want to rely on Butt to give them guidance. Just how will he take the reigns of a leadership position?
Leading by example.
"I just want to lead by example first and foremost," Butt said. "It starts with being one of the hardest workers on the team every single day. Whether it's in a meeting, I want to be taking notes. I want to be on the edge of my seat eager to learn more. In practice, I want to be the first one in every drill, going the hardest out of everybody. I never want to take a rep off. Once you do those things guys will follow."
The Wolverines added some very young depth to the tight end position during the previous recruiting cycle. The best part of it, Butt says, is that the young guys are ready to work and are very eager to learn more and do whatever it takes to see the field.
"The best thing that we've got young guys that are hungry to learn and that want to get better," Butt said. "It makes it easy for me, I've been starting for three years now going into my fourth year, they're so eager to learn and so open to trying new things. It helps me as a leader and I know it helps coach Jay as a coach and I know it helps them down the line. They're going to be able to take bits and pieces from our coach, our game and our other games to prove themselves as players."