7-0 power forward John Butler Jr. of Christ Church and his dad and coach, John Butler Sr., had a plan worked out for his recruiting this spring. They would take some official visits as a junior, narrow his list and be prepared to make a decision before his senior season. The pandemic changed all that. With a recruiting dead period now in place thru the end of June, and likely to extend further, the Butlers have had to slow down and rethink their plan.
“We were going to go thru AAU and probably in June or July narrow this list down, and the start of fall have about 5 or 6 schools, and before the season decide where we wanted to go,” Coach Butler said. “It’s hard for me to encourage John to sign early and he hasn’t even been on the campus. It’s really stalled every thing.”
Coach Butler said they had planned to take spring official visits to Georgia Tech, Florida State and Xavier. Butler has been unofficially to USC, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Alabama. While the traveling may have been nixed, but the recruiting continues. Coach Butler said the college coaches are using all the new ways of communicating to contact him and his son.
“We had a video conference with Alabama Coach (Nate) Oates and some Zoom calls here and there,” Coach Butler said. “Coach Antonio Dean (Clemson) calls John and checks in on John. A lot of the schools have different methods. Some check in with me and some of them feel comfortable enough to just call and contact John. Most of the schools just check in with him. I talk with Coach (Perry) Clark (USC) a good bit, and I think they call John a good bit as well.”
Butler has offers from Clemson, USC, Alabama, Saint Louis, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Baylor, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Xavier, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
“He’s really comfortable with six schools, but at the same time there’s probably about 10-15 schools that are interested,” Coach Butler said. “Kansas has contacted him a fair amount. NC State, Missouri, Memphis. Arkansas and Texas Tech and about five or six other schools are like hey, we’re here and we know you exist. We look at things like these schools have offered, so they are very interested, these schools have been communicating with you, so they may be waiting to see who is transferring out or who else can they sign. We kind of put them in the middle. And then there’s schools that’s just, hey, we know you exist, that kind of deal.”
Butler has not yet decided on favorites but according to his father, there are some recruiters who have positioned themselves well with the hghly-skilled big man.
“He’s an introvert so he doesn’t talk a lot, so we have to pick to get stuff out of him,” Coach Butler said. “There are some coaches that he’s felt more comfortable with. I t think he’s real comfortable with Coach Clark at South Carolina. I think he’s real comfortable with Coach (Julian) Swartz at Georgia Tech. Coach (Jonas) Hayes at Xavier. These are guys I know that he’s build a good relationship with.”
Last season Butler averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds per game. In the 247Sports Composite, he’s rated as a 4-star prospect and ranked the #10 center in the country and #2 prospect in South Carolina.