A lot of people surrounding the Syracuse football program had high expectations for wide receiver Devin Butler heading into the 2018 season. With Steve Ishmael graduating, Butler was thought by many to be the team’s top returning receiver after a 33-reception, 327-yard season in 2017. Needless to say, that top billing did not hold true.
Butler had perhaps the most disappointing season of any Syracuse player as the junior only caught 14 passes for 126 yards and had problems with drops throughout the season. He went from being one of the top wide receivers on the depth chart to moving to the defensive side of the football for the Boston College game and the bowl against West Virginia. Add in a suspension for the Pitt game and the 2018 season in Syracuse was one to forget for Butler. As it turns out, it was also his last in Orange.
As first reported by Stadium’s Brett McMurphy on Friday afternoon, Butler will transfer out of the program. The report was later confirmed by Butler’s appearance in the NCAA transfer portal and via his Instagram story:
After the rough go that Butler had in 2018, the news doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. SU is going to be absolutely loaded at wide receiver next season with the return of dynamic speedsters Sean Riley and Nykeim Johnson as well as burgeoning star Taj Harris. Add in newcomers Trishton Jackson (transfer from Michigan State) and former four-star recruit Ed Hendrix (redshirted 2018 due to injury) and there just really wouldn’t have been a spot for Butler to fit in on the offensive side of the ball.
The pieces were there for Butler to have a breakout 2018 season. He was easily one of the top two receivers on the roster in August along with Jamal Custis and was Eric Dungey’s favorite returning target. Unfortunately for Butler, those pieces just never really came together and now the best decision for his career is to move on from Syracuse and try to make an impact somewhere else, something of which he’s more than capable. With that being said, the Orange should be just fine without him.