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Friday, May 17, 2013
ACC the first to offer Texas 2015 WR

By Damon Sayles

Clemson hasn't been a stranger to the Dallas area, particularly West Mesquite High School in nearby Mesquite, Texas.

The Tigers have offered 2015 quarterback Chason Virgil, and ESPN 150 safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner was committed to Clemson before switching to Texas A&M. Clemson now is focused on landing another rising West Mesquite star.

The Tigers have offered 2015 wide receiver Akilian Butler, a 5-foot-10, 178-pound athlete who was the team’s second-leading receiver as a sophomore this past season.

Clemson is Butler’s first offer, and it's a school Butler has had a chance to research and appreciate. He is being recruited to Clemson by offensive coordinator Chad Morris.

“It feels great. I'm very excited,” Butler said of the offer. “I just have to keep working harder to the be the best.

“I like Clemson a lot. I like the location, the school tradition ... and Sammy Watkins.”

Butler said Watkins, one of the nation's top receivers last year, has an overall style that he feels many receivers can pattern to be successful at the next level. Watkins caught 57 passes for 708 yards and three touchdowns during the 2012 season.

Butler caught 28 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns -- decent numbers in a West Mesquite offense that included six players with at least 20 receptions. Butler additionally is being recruited by Colorado State, Baylor, Texas Tech and Oregon State.

Butler said he's a fan of Clemson's tradition, enthusiasm and work ethic. He also likes the coaching staff, led by Dabo Swinney. There's one thing, however, that makes Clemson an immediate favorite to Butler.

“Most importantly, an opportunity,” he said.