Jake Butt is a member of what may turn out to be the best tight end draft class in a generation. Unfortunately, his place in that group is not what it might have been. Butt was on course to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the 2017 NFL draft when disaster struck: a severe injury in his final bowl game.
Now, with his rookie season officially over, Butt took the time to sit down and join teammates like Von Miller, Chris Harris Jr, and Demaryius Thomas in writing an article for The Players’ Tribune. If you haven’t read The Players’ Tribune before, get ready for a treat. It offers a nearly unparalleled insight into the thoughts and perspectives of players from the NFL and other major sports leagues. Many of the NFL articles give great insights into why two super stars at the same position can be two completely different challenges on the field.
But if you insist on going all TL;DR on us, at least take in a few quotes from this great read:
From his injury...
As soon as I hit the ground, the stadium went dead silent.
The trainers rushed out onto the field.
I knew right away what had happened.
The Orange Bowl. My last college game. Four months away from the draft. A projected second-round pick.
And I had just torn my ACL.
...to his reason for being there.
Now, I know I wasn’t a projected top-10 pick like those guys, and there’s no way for me to honestly say what I would have done if I had been. But I know that in my heart, I wanted to play in that game — for my teammates, for Coach Harbaugh and the rest of my coaches, and for the University of Michigan.
From his inspiration...
So I thought to myself, Man, this guy literally had his leg cut off. What do I have to complain about?
...to his resolve.
Also … don’t make your decision out of fear. Don’t let what happened to me scare you into not playing in a game that means something to you.
You can’t play in a bubble. Injuries happen. I played because I love the University of Michigan, and I wanted to be there for my teammates and coaches. And unfortunately for me, I got injured. Nobody wants to be a comeback story. But when you’re put in that situation, what else are you gonna do?
Jake Butt has plenty of heart, and great character to go with some impressive skills on the gridiron. Here’s hoping he gets fully healthy this offseason and blows Broncos Country away when training camp 2018 finally rolls around.