EL DORADO, Kan. – Ten Butler football sophomores inked letters of intent with NCAA Division I football programs at the mid-year signing date today.
The list includes one player going to the Southeastern Conference and two others going to the Big 12 Conference, as well as others joining programs in the Mountain West, American Athletic, Sun Belt, Southland, Conference USA and Mid-Eastern Atlantic conferences.
More players from this year's team will sign with Division I programs in February, which will push Butler's total to double digits.
Six of those Grizzlies signed letters of intent on Wednesday at a ceremony held inside the Criss Football Complex on the Butler campus. They were Steven Walker (Colorado State), Tyler Uselton (Memphis), Steve Wolgamott (Georgia State), Mateo Kambui (Florida A&M), Parker Whitney (Abilene Christian) and Nick Cook (UNC-Charlotte).
"I am very excited for the Division I opportunities that our student athletes have earned," said Butler coach Troy Morrell. "They were a great group who have worked hard each day and have enjoyed tremendous success on the field as well as in the classroom. It was a pleasure coaching these guys and it will be exciting to follow them at their next home."
Others who signed on Wednesday include Region VI Defensive Player of the Year Owen Williams, who will play next year at Tennessee and offensive tackle Luke Hayes, who will play at Kansas State. Gabe Luna has signed with Iowa State.
The sophomores leave after compiling a record of 20-3 over the past two seasons, winning back-to-back Jayhawk Conference and Region VI playoff championships, finishing No. 2 in the final national poll in 2012 and at No. 6 in 2013, keeping alive a streak of 16 consecutive years in the top 10. That is the longest streak in the NJCAA.
Butler has had at least 14 players transfer to NCAA football programs following each season since 1998. The Grizzlies, who have a record of 169-20 while winning 14 conference titles and five national championships in that 16-year span, have had former players transfer to programs including LSU, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Carolina and Georgia. Three former Grizzlies have played in BCS national title games since 2001.
|Luke Hayes||Scott City, KS||Kansas State||Big 12|
|Owen Williams||Macon, GA||Tennessee||SEC|
|Gabe Luna||Garden City, KS||Iowa State||Big 12|
|Steven Walker||Wichita, KS||Colorado State||Mountain West|
|Tyler Uselton||Great Bend, KS||Memphis||American Athletic|
|Steve Wolgamott||Maize, KS||Georgia State||Sun Belt|
|Mateo Kambui||Wichita, KS||Florida A&M||MEAC|
|Parker Whitney||Rose Hill, KS||Abilene Christian||Southland|
|Josh Finley||Olathe, KS||Abilene Christian||Southland|
|Nick Cook||Wichita, KS||UNC-Charlotte||Independent|