The Pitt football team has some work to do in finding a receiver to help fill the gap that expected No. 3 guy Tre Tipton left with his season-ending injury announced recently. While it might be hard for a true freshman to do it, one guy that's getting quite a bit of recognition at practice is Dontavius Butler-Jenkins.
Butler-Jenkins, a Florida kid, was a pretty unheralded recruit when he committed to Pitt last summer. His only other major offer had come from North Carolina State. And while expecting him to leapfrog a huge group of wideouts for the No. 3 job is probably asking too much, it sounds like he is in the mix for playing time, according to head coach Pat Narduzzi.
"The guy who's really stepped up, when you listen to the strength coach and the guys who were around this summer, is Dontavius Butler-Jenkins," said Narduzi. "One day you heard about it. Dontavius is a receiver who's going to really help us this year."
So what about him makes him special? "He gets football," Narduzzi added. "He's a natural football player. He has those football instincts that you just don't teach. Today he got involved in a scramble. The quarterback broke contain and got out, and he did it like a pro. Instinctually, he has the effect."
Naruzzi also added that he's further ahead than your typical freshman.
One thing that's probably helping him is that Aaron Mathews, a guy expected to potentially fill the role slotted for Tipton, has been out with some personal things, according to Narduzzi. He's expected to be back next week.
I'm not sure where Butler-Jenkins ultimately fits in terms of this season. As I mentioned before, Pitt has a lot of other guys in the mix. But at the very least, it sounds like he's going to be playing this year, which probably comes as a surprise to most.