Deions ties help Buffs land No. 80 recruit for 24

Aaron Butler’s connection with the Colorado coaching staff was almost immediate during his April visit, with the athlete’s father having been a teammate of Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders with the Baltimore Ravens in 2005.

Nearly one month later, Butler, the No. 80 overall recruit in the 2024 ESPN 300, decided to ultimately commit to Sanders on Tuesday. He becomes Colorado’s first ESPN 300 pledge for the 2024 class, which is ranked 24th by ESPN.

“The belief the coaching staff has in me and the system, knowing how many times that ball’s going to be thrown as a freshman, being able to catch 50 passes,” Butler, who had been committed to USC until Jan. 11 and had also considered Oregon, Alabama, Miami and Arizona, told ESPN. “I know by that second, third year I’m going to be projected to be one of the top receivers. I got an opportunity to put production out, so that piece right there.

“And then to have a gold jacket [Pro Football Hall of Famer] do it as your head coach and that connection right there and how he cares about people. The time and stuff that he puts into it and the energy they got. They’re trying to win. They’re trying to win right now and it’s contagious. It’s not to be played with.”

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Butler, who projects as a wide receiver in offensive coordinator Sean Lewis’ system. He caught 38 passes for 830 yards and 13 touchdowns in nine games for Calabasas High School (California) last season as a junior.

His father, Robb-Davon Butler, signed with the San Diego Chargers in 2004 as a defensive back after going undrafted out of Robert Morris University before eventually making his way to the Ravens’ practice squad in October 2005.

“It’s kind of surreal, man, to be honest with you,” Robb-Davon Butler said of his son playing for Deion Sanders. “Once you get an offer, you always know it’s a possibility that you can play for the school. But what we didn’t anticipate besides the relationship, the history, was how consistent the staff has been, right? So Deion is just like one piece to a much bigger puzzle.

“His staff is truly remarkable and I want to make sure they get the credit that they deserve because a lot of schools talk about, based on Aaron’s rankings and his film, that he’s a priority. … But nobody’s actually demonstrated that — those words — quite like Colorado. So throughout this process, [Aaron] himself has gotten to learn that actions speak louder than words.”

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