Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill has preached that special teams is a big part of their team and knows that can win or lose a game. Special Teams Quality Control Coach Jay Nunez has reached out to one of the nation’s best long snappers in Scottsdale (AZ.) Saguaro senior long snapper Jordan Butler and he was recently on campus and talks about his time on campus and his communication with the Gophers.
“I got contacted over email by Coach Jay Nunez last year during the season,” Butler told GopherDigest. “He said they needed a long snapper and I should go to their camp and there is a real chance for me to have something at Minnesota. I kept talking and when camp came about I couldn’t make it due to a prior commitment to my current football team. I had a camp in Wisconsin on July 19-20th and I figured since I was already in Wisconsin that I might as well do a 5 hour drive down to Saint Paul and do an unofficial visit. I went there and they said they really like me. I am also going to the Under Armour All-American Bowl, so I think that kind of piqued their interest too. I have a preferred walk-on offer at Minnesota and all I have to do is beat their current long snapper and then I would get a full ride.”
“The visit went great. They showed me everything and I only had time from 7 to 9, so I could catch a flight out to Arizona. They showed me so much in two hours like the football locker room, football practice facility and more. The whole thing was just a great experience. I really appreciated it and I got to meet Coach Jay Nunez, Coach Jay Sawvel and Coach Kill. Halfway through the visit, Coach Jay sat me down took me in his office and kind of told me the situation that all you have to do is go out there be the starting long snapper and I can do it. Coach Jay Nunez keeps in really good contact with me and wrote me a letter thanking me for coming out. That means a lot when I see a coach take personal time out of the day to write a letter to me.”
With a preferred walk-on offer from Minnesota, the 5-10, 195-pound long snapper is definitely interested and has them currently sitting at top for his services.
“I am very interested in the Gophers,” said Butler. “I was never a Gopher fan and was a huge Gator fan, but after doing a lot of research and seeing the facilities and the programs they have to offer there, then that is my number 1 school right now and I am really hoping to go to. If there is another team that is willing to offer me a full ride, then I will have to reconsider my options for sure. Hands down I really like Minnesota and I am really hoping I get a full ride scholarship from them.”
It is not a everyday thing, you hear about long snappers getting recruited, but Bulter knows the dedication and determination it takes to perfect his craft and make it to the next level, which started for him young.
“I played little league football in Arizona and my head coach told me that they are looking for a snapper and I should go out there for center and maybe get me some pointers on playing center. I went out there for the first year and the first couple of months, they had me already training for long snapping. I just got into it and for five years now, I have just been training 24/7.”
“It is definitely a required trait. It takes a lot of hard commitment. I have lost a lot of my social life and time with my friends and sometimes my family to commit to this. It is not very easy to do what so ever. It takes a lot of accuracy and precision and focus. Over these five years, that is all I have done. I want to show people that we are here and what we do is just as important as any football position.”
Butler says that his recruitment is going well with Boise State, Umass and ULM looking at him. Still, that hasn’t stopped his commitment to keep working and improving in his game and is in no rush to make that ultimate decision. Now, he’s putting his recruitment on the back burner and is eager to win that another state championship.
“Moving forward, I just want to focus on high school and I am playing in the Under Armour All-American Bowl, so I am thinking about doing my commitment there or right after that,” said Butler. “I am just waiting for that school to kind of show out and say we want you here and show how badly they want me there. I will commit after my football season, but I don’t know where or when just yet.”
“I am very excited for this upcoming season. We have a really stacked team this year and I am looking to get my third state ring. My goal is to just be the best out there and get a lot of tackles. I want to show people that I can snap and cover, so my goal is be the number one out there and be the best.”
When the times comes for Butler to sit down and make that decision, he knows what the main factors will be and one of those definitely won’t be distance.
“It is not really a big deal,” Butler said of the distance factor. “I feel like my past life, I would have been someone to live in a colder side like the East Coast. I definitely want to get over there. The Arizona heat really sucks and it is constantly even when I am talking to you right now. It is like 90 degrees and just 9 o'clock in the morning. It kills over here, but distance is really a matter and just a school that is willing to offer me the most and give me a real chance to play on their team.”
“The main things I am looking for is a full ride, which is going to be a huge huge thing for me because I don’t come from money, so getting my education paid for is huge. The coaching staff and the way the football team operates is also important. I also want a team that is going to treat each other like a team not stick to groups or clicks and want a huge family.”