Football

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Day 18

Nov 19, 2016; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Hakeem Butler (18) celebrates with Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Deshaunte Jones (8) and Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Allen Lazard (5) after he catches a touchdown pass against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The emergence of underclassmen ready to take the next step towards becoming difference makers is one of the biggest storylines in fall camp for college football teams across the country each season.

A handful of guys have done just that for Iowa State over the past several weeks, but one has been mentioned repeatedly — sophomore wide receiver Hakeem Butler.

Butler caught nine passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns during his redshirt freshman season in 2016. The first reception of his career, a one-handed 39-yard touchdown catch in the season opener against UNI, was one of the best highlights from Matt Campbell’s first season in Ames.

Butler enters the 2017 season as one of the more intriguing options in a loaded Iowa State receivers room. He’s become so intriguing that Campbell has said he is possibly the most talented guy in the room despite the presence of Allen Lazard, Deshaunte Jones, Trever Ryen and a host of other really good pass catchers.

It might be 2018 before we truly see the impact Butler can make in a game, but there is little doubt he could be in for a breakout 2017 season.

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.