Notes: Deon Butler

I decided to ditch the play-by-play breakdown because reading and rereading "did not factor" is a chore. Instead below are some highlights and opinions.

I didn't see evidence that Deon Butler will be a good blocker, but I do think Butler will be a consistent blocker. He worked through his blocks on every play and didn't quit. He gets under guys and drives his legs well, but I think most pro corners will rip through his upper body and disengage when needed. Don't underestimate the value of buying a second, though.

USC defenders did not effectively press Butler. Josh Pinkard attempted to jam him in the fourth, and Butler both established position and threw him off and to the side. Pinkard is 6'1", 215.

Butler's longest reception of the day displayed good spacing, good awareness and the kind of effective route running that trumps all.

2nd and 17 at PSU 24 Daryll Clark pass complete to Deon Butler for 35 yards to the USC 41 for a 1ST down.

Penn State is three wide, with Butler alone on the right. Right, in this case, being the "field" or long horizontal of the gridiron. USC is in their ever present 3-4, with Clay Matthews walked up offensive right and Kaluka Maiava positioned over the slot. Cary Harris is opposite Butler.

At the snap, Butler slants in, straightens, and then slants in again after ten yards. Harris has inside position, but is just barely trailing. Trojans rush five and Darryl Clark's pocket collapses as Everson Griffen comes free. Clark squirts out and towards the right flat. Butler's slant lasts about eight yards. The route thus far looks like a skinny post. Harris sticks outside, safely assuming Butler is unlikely to streak too close to Taylor Mays lest he be beheaded. Butler sets Harris up for an inside move by outstretching his right arm, sinking his hips and right-angling towards the right sideline. Harris is staggered. His two legs flail like each is pulled by a different puppeteer. Clark is in trouble. Griffen is steps away in backside pursuit. Cushing and Matthews are closing from the left. Butler begins to fade towards the end zone. Clark jumps and passes a low-angled duck. Harris watches, looks back, sees Butler's separation, closes, but tackles only after the catch. Butler high-points the low pass and pulls it in for 35.

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