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February 5, 2014

Signing Day 2014: Evan Butts

Signee: Evan Butts
Tight end
Newtown Square (PA) Episcopal Academy
6-foot-4, 225 pounds

Rankings: Three-star (5.5). No. 32 overall prospect in Pennsylvania in the class of 2014.

Other offers: Prior to committing to UVa in June, Butts had offers from Boston College, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Temple, among others.

How he chose UVa: Some players are on the way to offers simply by being who they are. Others, like Butts, are asked to come to a school's camp and show the coaching staff why he's worth a look. And that's what happened for Butts at UVa last summer.

The coaches, namely tight ends coach Tom O'Brien, wanted to see him run route and go through drills considering he had matured a great deal physically since UVa had seen him last. And Butts did not disappoint, making a few pretty catches and then impressing special teams coordinator Larry Lewis with his long snapping abilities.

In the end, head coach Mike London and O'Brien decided to move on an offer and Butts committed shortly thereafter.

Why he matters: While Virginia has a reputation for producing quality tight ends, the Cavaliers haven't really recruited the position much the past couple of years. When O'Brien returned to Charlottesville following the 2012 season and was named the position coach for that group, there did seem to be more focus on the position. Outside of Butts, though, that hasn't really shown on the recruiting trail.

And that makes the Keystone State native even more important, not only because of his versatility as a TE prospect who can long snap but also too because of his abilities to both block and catch.

With a good frame, solid athleticism, and a very good football IQ, Butts has the potential to be a contributor down the road. Though he's not likely to play right away, he could see significant time as a redshirt sophomore and beyond.

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