Connor Butt’s time as an Army football player is in the distant future but the Notre Dame Prep (Ariz.) linebacker says he already feels like part of the program.
Butt announced his commitment to Black Knights Monday. He made his college decision last week, giving his verbal to special teams coach Mike Krysl, his area recruiter.
“It feels amazing,” Butt said. “I simply feel that I already belong. Many friends and players I know say they can’t wait to be apart of the team they are committed to, yet I feel like I am apart of West Point already!
“Many other colleges toss around the term ‘brotherhood’ like it doesn’t mean very much more than a football team. However, at West Point, you can clearly see and feel both on and off the field that is the main theme of everything and I love that about the place.”
Army and Navy both heavily recruited Butt. He visited both service academies. Army first. Butt said he, “never felt like it was a toss-up or comparison between the two, rather just what seemed to come the most natural.”
“Quite honestly, the academies were never originally on my radar,” Butt said. “I originally was planning on committing at the end of my senior season. However, West Point quickly changed my mind.
“West Point, in itself, resembles my character quite a bit with being well-regimented, extremely hard-working, tightly-bonded and extremely personable. Coach Monken has also turned the program in an incredible direction in terms of the team’s success, the relationships between the players and staff and the connections you can make from playing on the team in the real world, which makes it all the more sweeter.”
Monken’s stability at West Point was one of the factors in Butt’s decision. Monken signed a six-year contract extension through the 2024 season.
“The fact he is now staying at least to my graduation year is huge for me!,” Butt said. “But, more importantly as a whole, West Point is definitely a real brotherhood with real opportunities and the greatest honor possible to graduate from.”
Butt, who is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, was originally recruited to play safety, then outside linebacker and most currently middle linebacker.
Stanford offered Butt a preferred walk-on opportunity with the chance of receiving a full scholarship pending on his play this season. Butt had 65 tackles his junior year.
“I was told I would receive an offer at camp from several other larger schools but I did not want to attend somewhere I had to prove myself outside of film and not be believed in,” Butt said. “And that goes for all the schools that did not offer from last season. So that made the choice very clear and obvious to me which was a huge blessing.”
Butt’s West Point visit only confirmed his decision. There was nothing that he could tell his father, Bill, that he didn’t like about the campus.
“From the coaches talking and showing me what the current football alumni were up to in their careers to the football facilities and the stadium to the incredible-looking campus,” Butt said. “Everything is simply the best it can be and you can feel that presence on campus.”