Each day leading up to Iowa State’s season opener against South Dakota State, Cyclone Fanatic will check another day off the calendar with a memorable statistic, player or game as part of our Countdown to Kickoff presented by Tailgate Clothing.
At 6-foot-6, 225-pounds, Hakeem Butler certainly casts a long shadow, but that never kept him from living in Allen Lazard’s during his first two years as a contributor in Iowa State receiving corps. Now, with Lazard graduated and moved on to the NFL, it is all the other Cyclone pass catchers who are expected to live in the shadow of No. 18.
The Baltimore, Md. native enters the 2018 season expected to be one of the wide receivers in the Big 12 and was slated by The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman as one of the “biggest freaks” in college football.
It is easy to understand why Butler is drawing the recognition when you look at the big play ability he brought in 2017 while catching 41 passes for 697 yards and seven touchdowns. He solidified himself early in the season as the Cyclones’ best downfield threat, specifically in the loss to Iowa in which he caught two touchdowns, including a 74-yarder.
There is no doubt Butler will draw more attention as a redshirt junior with Lazard no longer by his side, but if his past is any indication, slowing him down will not be an easy task.