Butler impresses Boilermakers

St. Francis (Ill.) running back James Butler missed his entire junior season due to an injury, meaning this summer is critical for his recruitment. On Friday, Butler impressed the Purdue coaching staff at camp. Will an offer be coming? Boiler Sports Report offers the details.

The last time James Butler took the football field for game action was 2011. Since then, a transfer and injury have kept him from suiting up.

To say this summer is critical would be an understatement. Butler needs to impress college coaches to make up for missing his entire junior season.

"It's a big deal, because I couldn't play my junior year," said Butler. "I want to get to as many camps as possible."

Butler, a 5-foot-9, 205-pound running back from St. Francis (Ill.) High School, has offers from Eastern Illinois, Nevada and Temple. His hope is that the summer brings in Big Ten offers.

This past week, Butler attended camps at Illinois, Iowa, Purdue and Michigan State. In West Lafayette on Friday night, Butler made a strong impression.

"I did pretty well," Butler said after the camp concluded. "I ran pretty good numbers and felt good in one-on-ones."

Butler worked closely with Purdue running backs coach Jafar Williams during camp and feels he performed well. It was quite the challenge trying to impress at camp with the coaching staff watching closely, but Butler was eager for the opportunity.

"I love competing," said Butler. "It's fun, it's part of being a football player. I want to go here [at Purdue], so I've got to do what I've got to do."

At the end of camp, Williams said to Butler that the coaching staff will be meeting Monday to discuss new offers. The running back hopes he's in line for one.

"It would be great," Butler said. " … I feel like I did pretty well. Hopefully an offer is coming."

After missing out on his junior season, Butler has high hopes for 2013. He looks to bring St. Francis back to the title game after it missed the playoffs last year.

"First is making the playoffs," he said. "Then, hopefully going deep into the playoffs to a state championship."

If all goes according to plan, Butler will be playing in the Big Ten one year later.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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