Before moving any further with his recruitment, 3-star DE Matthew Butler had to get out and see some of the SEC.
A rising senior at Garner High School, which sits just outside of Raleigh, N.C., most of Butler’s college visits had been to local ACC schools Duke and North Carolina State, so he hit the road earlier this month with his parents.
“I decided that I was going to take visits to schools that have really caught my interest,” Butler said.
South Carolina and Tennessee were the destinations.
“I got to really see an in-depth look at the campus and coaching staff,” he said of South Carolina. “I got to really see how they do things, the culture and the strength coaching, as well. That’s really what I’m into, my development, my education and really enjoying campus life, so I really got to take an in-depth look and it was enjoyable and informative.”
Butler and his parents met with head coach Will Muschamp and defensive line coach Lance Thompson.
“We got to talk really in-depth and see what coach Muschamp was about, what coach Thompson was about. It wasn’t just a hi and bye, meet and greet. We were really talking,” Butler said.
He added, “Their persona fits my persona, what I’m trying to do. They’re trying to accomplish the same goals with their program and their players as I’m trying to accomplish, so I can see myself at South Carolina. That’s really what I took away from the conversation.”
Very enjoyable and successful day. I had a great talk with the man himself. ? pic.twitter.com/W63rmSRmqX
— Matthew Butler (@mattbutler_45) June 17, 2016
The No. 27 strong-side defensive end in the class of 2017 had similar feelings about Tennessee, where he visited a day after going to South Carolina.
“It was a lot of fun, but I realized that it was … the fun that I’m having isn’t really necessarily what I’m going to base my decision off of,” Butler said. “I asked a few questions and they really took my questions into consideration and really made it to where I got the information that I was really looking for, so I appreciated that. The information that I did get, I could see myself at Tennessee.”
— Matthew Butler (@mattbutler_45) June 18, 2016
North Carolina State had him on campus a week later.
Productive visit at NC State today.. Got to catch up with @TheNyNy7 ?✔
— Matthew Butler (@mattbutler_45) June 24, 2016
Both schools have been targeted to receive return visits before a final decision is made. Butler did add that he’s “not necessarily down” to the four aforementioned schools: South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina State and Duke.
“I’m still looking at other schools, but those are the ones I’m really taking a look at, for one reason or another, so that’s how it is,” he said.