Last season he was a starter at cornerback on a team that advanced to the state semi-finals. This season, he not only moved positions – he moved sides of the ball. It didn’t seem to matter to Jordan Hubmen senior Ako Butler Jr. The team had another successful season, and despite the change in position, Butler did too – so much so that he recently picked up his first college football scholarship offer.
“We had a good season,” Butler said. “Last year we made it to the state semi-finals, so we thought we were going to go all the way this year. We got a first-round bye and beat Marshall – a team we have not beaten in a long time – we didn’t go as far as we wanted, but it was still a fun year.”
Like the year before, one of the Hubmen’s keys was their pace of play.
“We moved fast,” Butler said. “We have a no-huddle offense, and the other team doesn’t always get set. On defense, we had our games where we did a good job stopping the run, but our defense developed throughout the season.”
Butler switched from full-time corner to full-time running back.
“I started at running back this year. Last year I started at corner, but I just did what I could for my team.”
Due to injury, Butler filled in at corner for three games while also playing running back.
The last time he played running back was in tenth grade.
“I think my strength is being able to see the hole and hitting it,” the senior said. “If you give me some open space, I can put a move on you and use my agility as a running back; I am not a power runner.”
“I am better in one on one coverage than in zone,” Butler explained when asked about defense.
As a defensive player, Butler wants to focus on reading the quarterback and receiver more effectively. As a running back, he wants to be able to pick up the hole quicker. While he knows what he can do well and what he could work on, the senior doesn’t know where he will be playing in college.
“I have no idea,” Butler admitted. “Last year, most of the schools that were recruiting me were looking at me as a defensive back. After this season they haven’t told me what they are recruiting me as; I am going with the flow.”
Butler recently picked up an offer from Minnesota-Crookston.
“I am mostly getting looks from Division II schools. Crookston, Minot State, Bemidji State, Winona State, Augustana, Southwest Minnesota State have been interested in me.”
Among others, Butler has visited Crookston, Augustana, Southwest Minnesota State, Minnesota-Duluth, and Mankato State.
“Most of the coaches say they like my work ethic,” Butler explained. “They like my speed and agility and that I can be used in multiple spots.”
This winter he has been working out in the weight room three days a week. He focuses on bench, clean and squat. Once the seven on seven season starts, he will be traveling to in state and out of state tournaments as well as practicing with his team on the weekends. This spring he will be on the track team focusing on the 110-meter hurdles, the 100, the 4X100 and the long jump.
At this time last year, Butler thought he knew what was in store for him on the football field. Now, because of how much he has shown he can do, he has gone into this offseason having no idea what to expect again. Because it didn’t seem to affect Butler when his role quickly changed when the season started this year, not know what to expect next year should be no problem.