Every so often a player comes around that is so dynamic coaches literally fight over which side of the ball they want him on. Offensive coaches want him, Defensive coaches want him, even Special Teams coaches want him. This kind of player possesses the kind of playmaking abilities that can help take a team to the next level. The Utah Utes are lucky enough to have that type of player on their squad this year.
Butler-Byrd, a former 4 star recruit and one of the top Junior College prospects last season, brings a lot to the table in terms of speed, athleticism and raw talent. Desperate for a playmaker the Utes will look to utilize him anyway they can.
Let’s make some arguments for Offense, Defense and Special Teams:
On the offensive side of the ball, the Utes and their passing game could really use #16. Having such a skilled athlete in the slot would create so many opportunities for the Utes on offense (screens, reverses, short passes). The Utes know they have to make defenses respect their pass game this season to really open up things for Booker and the run game. Having a guy like Butler-Byrd would give the Utes another weapon and another playmaker to help give the offense a jolt.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Utes could really use (pending Hatfield reinstatement) Butler-Byrd opposite Reggie Porter. Although they do have a lot of talent and depth at the corner position, Butler-Byrd is a different type of beast. #16 has the natural instincts of a great cover corner, a guy who just goes out and makes it happen no matter what. Having a great cover corner in the pass happy Pac-12 is a necessity week in and week out.
Of course when you have this type of do-it-all athlete on your team, you’re definitely going to want to give him a shot at returning either Kick Offs or Punts. Butler-Byrd could have the type of impact on special teams that Shaky Smithson, Reggie Dunn and Kaelin Clay had for the Utes. Having a guy that can get your offense good field position is so important to a football team. #16 will look to make his mark here as well.
If Hatfield is reinstated, I would love to see Butler-Byrd on the offensive side of the ball in the slot. If not, I think he would make a great replacement for Hatfield at the corner position. On special teams, I would like to see him returning kicks.
No matter what though, Utah’s coaches have to find a way to get Butler-Byrd on the field.