Image: Kevin Butler. Athens Banner Herald
Kevin Butler's kid just gave Richt his verbal commitment to punt for the Dawgs (Source: DawgPost.com). Per Drew Butler:
“Coach Richt let me know that they wanted me real bad,” he said. “They know my personality, and they know that I am going to work hard. I think I have the right mindset to handle my father’s legacy and to handle the scholarship offer.”I know there are some Dawg fans who are troubled by UGA offering a scholarship to a kicker when we've had such success with our walk-on program vs. the scholarship offer to Andy Bailey.
My answer to that is simple. A coach either thinks that a kid is worth a scholarship, or he ain't. Just as many kickers bust out as anyone else. So just because one kid doesn't pan out doesn't mean you write off ever offering another kicker a 'ship. People used to complain that we were offering fullbacks after the success we had with walk-ons like JT Wall, Verron Haynes, etc. That panned out pretty well with Brannon Southerland.
Drew Butler had a scholarship offer from Duke on the table. A scholarship from Duke is worth about $45,000 per year in tuition, books, room and board. When you have the opportunity to get a premium education worth almost $200,000 for free, you have to seriously consider it. If it took a scholarship offer to land him, that means we wanted him pretty bad.
As for the Andy Bailey factor...who cares if Bailey was or wasn't a bust. Not offering another kicker because Bailey didn't pan out is like saying, "We'll never offer another running back because Jasper Sanks was a bust."
Jonathan Kilgo and Brent Kiroauc (sp?) were both offered scholarships out of high school. They worked out fairly well.
Also, it's not like kickers and punters are unimportant. If we had a better backup kicker this year, we would've won two more games. Remember when our punter was Wynn "30 yards after the bounce" Kopp? Donnan offered Kilgo a scholarship after seeing Kopp in action week after week.
If we offered Butler a scholly, it's because he deserved it. We've certainly let other "legacy" kids pass without a scholarship offer under Richt. See Keith McLee's kid up at WVU for one example.
Good move for Richt, and a great move for the Butler family.