Pitt incoming freshman wide receiver Donatvius Butler-Jenkins was itching to get to play with his mentor and friend – sophomore wideout Tre Tipton – this season. Instead, Butler-Jenkins carries the burden of trying to replace him.
Tipton was injured during a bicycle accident, in which he jumped off his bike to avoid getting struck by a vehicle, in July. He will miss the entire 2017 season.
That gives young wideouts such as Butler-Jenkins an opportunity to prove himself.
“When it happened, I thought that, ‘Man, I have to step up for him,’” Butler-Jenkins said according to DKPittsburghSports.com. “That’s something we’ve been talking about ever since he got hurt. He’s been talking me through it. He thinks I can fill in that spot for him. As a freshman that means a lot. I still have a lot to prove.”
The Panthers still have a very capable wide receiver core behind consensus All-American Quadree Henderson, but they are looking for a receiver to step up and play the vacant slot position. Butler-Jenkins very well could be that guy.
Senior cornerback Avonte Maddox said at the ACC Media Days that the incoming freshman has been “outstanding” and looked far more experienced in slot receiver drills than a typical first-year player. Butler-Jenkins played at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., which is a powerhouse prep football school.
That experience, both on and off the field playing in a college-like environment as a teenager, could serve him and Pitt very well this season.