Nevada RB James Butler Transfers To Iowa: 5 Things That Matter
Nevada’s top running back to transfer to Iowa. What does it all mean?
Nevada RB James Butler to transfer to Iowa
1. Why Did James Butler Transfer Now?
Apparently, Butler doesn’t want to be a part of the Nevada fun under new head coach Jay Norvell.
The star Nevada running back announced he will graduate and transfer to Iowa, where he’ll be a part of this year’s Hawkeye team and a key part of a good-looking backfield.
And why? The eighth all-time leading rusher in Nevada history wants to keep on running. While the Wolf Pack Air Raid offense opens things up wide for running backs, it’s a passing attack.
2. Who Is James Butler?
The 5-9, 210-pound ultra-quick, compact runner from Illinois is coming back to the Midwest. He was a CFN Preseason All-Mountain West running back before deciding to take off, running for 1,336 yards and 12 touchdowns last season – averaging over five yards per carry – and tearing off 1,345 yards and ten touchdowns two years ago, averaging 6.5 yards per pop. Also a receiver, he upped his game last season with 37 catches.
He’s tough through the hole with the flash to turn short runs into home runs. A workhorse when he has to be, he proved he could handle the load time and again, carrying the ball 468 times over the last two years.
Smart, the academic All-Mountain West performer was able to graduate to make this all happen – and now he’ll get his chance to show what he can do in the Big Ten.
3. What Now For Iowa?
Iowa has a shaky passing game – again – but it’s got an amazing offensive line and a great back in Akrum Wadley to work around around. Now it has another great runner.
The Hawkeyes aren’t going to start winging the ball around the yard, and they’ve proven they work best when they’ve got a running back rotation. Last year, Wadley and LeShun Daniels each came up with 1,000 yards and ten scores, and now Iowa has another splashy back to take over with Daniels gone.
4. What Now For Nevada?
It stinks to lose a talent like Butler to balance out the offense, but that’s not what the offense is going to be about.
New head coach Jay Norvell is getting rid of the Nevada Pistol offense and installing the Air Raid attack, throwing it early, often and always with Alabama transfer David Cornwell the triggerman to get it all going.
Butler would’ve found a role. He can catch well enough to have been a nice safety valve, and he would’ve had ten-mile wide holes to run through.
But Nevada’s eighth all-time leading rusher is taking his talents to Iowa City.
5. Mountain West vs. Big Ten
The Butler situation will play a big role early on in Week One. Iowa is starting out the season against Josh Allen and Wyoming – Butler ran for for 73 yards and two scores last year against the Cowboys in a 42-34 loss.
Nevada is kicking things off at Northwestern. It would’ve been an interesting moment for Butler to come back to his home state to play, but not now. The Wildcats can fully focus on what’s coming with the air show Nevada is about to bring.