J.B. Butler is still without a major conference offer as summer approaches its final month. That doesn't mean his recruitment has been quiet, however. The instate Fighting Illini have been showing interest and could offer soon.
"My recruiter at Illinois is Mike Ward, he's the linebackers coach," Butler explained. "Basically what they're telling me is they have no offers for inside guys. They already have one inside guy that they've taken (Nick Allegretti). But two of their backup inside guys on the team right now are in walking boots. The one guy has been in one for his whole career. They're going to medical redshirt one of them. They said they're 90% sure they're going to medical redshirt one of them and if they do it'll open up a scholarship offer for 2014.
"They would then offer me that scholarship to play center. That's what Coach Beckman said. It's kind of a weird situation but he said it could happen anytime from August 1st to October. He doesn't know when but he said it's about a 90-95% chance that happens. It would be my first big time offer. Definitely I would have a lot of interest and it would be tough to turn it down. It would take another great school to come in and swoop me up."
Another school showing interest is Syracuse, who has become a major player in the state. His good friend, Aaron Roberts, is being recruited very hard by the Orange who have also shown interest in Butler.
"I talk to Coach Lester, not all of the time but once in a while," Butler admitted. "I talked to him a couple of weeks ago. He was telling me that I remind him of their starting center right now (Macky MacPherson). With my size, the way I play and my feel for the game and smarts on the field. They said that's what they like about me. Me and Aaron talked about it. We're pretty good friends. I told him, ‘yo man, if you're going to make the jump to Syracuse, you've got to tell them about your old center buddy from Illinois.'
"Definitely we'd love to play on the same line together. They wanted me to come to camp but I couldn't make it out there. It's kind of a hard trip (financially) going to New York. They want to see my senior film so they can keep going with the process and everything. I'm going to send them my first three games and let them go from there."
While he wasn't able to take the trip during the summer, he says an official visit to Syracuse would be of high interest for the 6-foot-2 lineman.
"I'd definitely love to," Butler claimed. "I know about the history of Syracuse and everything. It would be hard to turn that down. If they wanted me to go out for an official, I definitely would go out there."
Two other major conference programs are also showing interest in the Joliet Catholic standout. He believes the first few games of his senior season will be the key in netting some offers.
"I've had a bunch of preferred walk-on offers but I'm not trying to go that route," Butler said. "The schools still in scholarship talks are Vanderbilt, Boston College, Illinois, Syracuse and that's basically it right now. A lot of schools want to see my first three games. I guarantee when they get my first three games of my senior film I'll have a lot more bigger schools coming out to try and offer."