The 2017 NFL Draft hasn’t just been a great one for Michigan, it’s been a historic one. With Jeremy Clark’s selection by the New York Jets in the sixth round, there have been 11 Wolverines selected thus far in 2017 — a new record for the program.
As a part of a new series, we’ll be looking back at each draftee’s recruitment.
Let’s begin with a fun one: TE Jake Butt.
The beginning of Jake Butt’s recruitment
Butt’s first Division I offer came his junior year, from Tennessee in November 2011, according to his 247Sports profile.
He was a 4-star prospect and part of the Michigan Class of 2013, finishing as the nation’s No. 173 overall prospect and No. 6 tight end.
As a senior, he was a finalist in Nike’s The Opening camp and was thought of as one of the nation’s best vertical tight end prospects. Being from Pickerington, Ohio, just outside Columbus, Butt was viewed as a no-brainer Ohio State recruit.
Little did anyone know …
Jake Butt chooses Michigan
The Buckeyes passed entirely on Butt, never offering the hometown kid.
The same day Butt was offered by Tennessee, a Michigan offer came in, as well. That was three days after an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor for the Ohio State game.
He would go on to receive offers from the likes of Minnesota, Stanford and Wisconsin, but it didn’t take Butt much thinking to know where he was going.
Three months after his first Michigan visit, Butt took another one to Ann Arbor. A day later, he committed to the Wolverines, in the final semester of his junior year.
Enrolling early at Michigan, becoming the program’s best ever
He would enroll early at Michigan, and shine in the tight end room right off the rip. Of course, we know the rest to the story.
The tight end Ohio State didn’t want would break the Michigan record for receiving yards by a tight end. He will go down as arguably the greatest Michigan tight end ever.
Jake Butt drafted by the Denver Broncos
And as of Saturday, Butt is Denver Bronco. John Elway & Co. selected Butt in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia, using the No. 145 overall selection on him.
Widely regarded as one of the draft’s top tight end prospects before tearing his ACL in the Orange Bowl, Butt slipped in the draft, but perhaps not as far as anticipated.
Regardless, if Butt returns from his second torn ACL with the same production he had in Ann Arbor, Elway will look like a genius.
We were holding our breath these last few picks hoping to get Michigan TE Jake Butt. A top-notch TE we're fortunate to select in the 5th.
— John Elway (@johnelway) April 29, 2017
After going from ignored by his hometown school to enjoying a celebrated four-year career by its rival — Jake Butt will be a popular name in Denver soon.