It’s not exactly a newsflash that, among the issues the Syracuse football team faced last year, the secondary was among the most troubling. Injuries and inexperience combined to force the Orange to reach deep down the bench and play several true and redshirt freshmen, and while the trial by fire will no doubt pay off down the line, it’s clear help was needed.
Fortunately, help comes today in the form of Notre Dame graduate transfer Devin Butler, a 6-foot-1, 200 pound cornerback originally from Washington DC, who was rated by ESPN.com as the 193rd best prospect in America coming out of high school. Butler’s career didn’t quite pan out as he’d hoped at Notre Dame, appearing in 37 games for the Irish and making 39 tackles with one interception in three seasons.
Now, it’s important to note that Butler had some off the field issues this year. In October, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor resisting arrest after an “altercation” with South Bend police on August 20. He was suspended indefinitely following his arrest, though he was also out with a broken foot at the time anyway. Sentencing was delayed a year, which could have an impact on his status at Syracuse, but the odds are against it at this point.
Butler agreed to participate in a pretrial diversion program, and if he successfully completes the program, the charge will be dismissed.
Assuming that Butler does indeed put this one ugly incident behind him, he’s a big-time addition to the Syracuse defensive backfield. He’s a long, physical corner with great athleticism and should compete immediately for a starting spot.
Now, let’s just hope we can find a way to avoid the inevitable confusion should he and the other Devin Butler on Syracuse’s roster ever wind up on the field together.