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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Texas evaluating new juco WR target

By Max Olson

Ronald Butler was starting to think he had an easy college decision ahead following his official visit to Utah State this weekend. That all changed Tuesday.

Ronald Butler
Juco wideout Ronald Butler caught 55 passes for 870 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2012.
That’s when Texas started getting serious about the wide receiver. After the Horns landed his Contra Costa (Calif.) College teammate Desmond Harrison earlier this week, the eyes of Texas are now upon Butler, and this recruitment could move quickly.

Texas is sending receivers coach Darrell Wyatt and lead recruiter Bo Davis to California on Thursday to evaluate the 6-foot, 185-pound sophomore. Butler faxed his transcripts to UT early Tuesday and was told they were good enough to get admitted. Now the Longhorns want to find out more.

If Wyatt likes what he sees, Butler could receive an offer and would plan on visiting Austin on the weekend of Feb. 1. Texas’ sudden interest -- which started after Davis checked out his film during a Contra Costa visit -- sure caught Butler by surprise.

“Not by a little. By a lot,” he said. “It came from nowhere. I came back from my trip to Utah State, and a few days later I’m hearing that Texas is interested. At first, I thought coach was talking about some small school in Texas.

“Once they said it’s the Longhorns, I just lit up. My head lit up like a light bulb. I was like, dang.”

Butler was Contra Costa’s top playmaker in 2012, catching 55 passes for 870 yards and 13 touchdowns. He came to the junior college from Jersey City (N.J.) Lincoln and has three years to play two seasons of eligibility.

Butler has offers from Utah State, Iowa State, Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State, but he admitted getting one from Texas would be impossible to turn down.

Why so little interest in the juco transfer? Butler is proud of the numbers he put up in his second year at Contra Costa, but he has been patiently waiting for a breakthrough like this in his recruitment.

“It’s been frustrating. Being that I wasn’t a midyear transfer, I think that had a lot to do with it,” he said. “Coming in for the summertime, I don’t get spring ball, and I’m missing a lot.”

That’s not an issue for Texas, which is seeking one more receiver for its 2013 class and hasn’t had much luck on that front lately. Mack Brown called Contra Costa coach Alonzo Carter on Tuesday to get the ball rolling after the transcripts arrived at the football office.

“They were surprised Ronald Butler wasn’t getting more attention,” Carter said. “Mack Brown wants to have the staff check him out. If they like him and everything is a go, the visit is a possibility.”

For Butler, nothing would beat getting a chance to play at the next level with Harrison, the offensive tackle who became Texas’ 14th verbal commit on Monday.

If Texas doesn’t end up offering, he said he’ll gladly land with Utah State and set out to prove himself as an Aggie. But he can’t wait for the chance to meet Wyatt and show what he’s capable of doing if given a chance.

“It’s an honor to even be shaking hands with those coaches and for them to be interested,” Butler said. “Even if things don’t work out as planned with that school, I’d still feel like I accomplished something if they’re interested.”