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September 3, 2013Late in the third quarter Saturday, on an eight-play, 81-yard touchdown drive, QB Shane Morris connected with tight end Jake Butt on an eight-yard completion. It may not have looked like much but with it, Butt joined history.
The 6-6, 237-pound freshman became only the 14th true freshman to record a catch in a Michigan season opener, and just the second tight end to do so, joining Pierre Cooper, who had a five-yard grab against Washington State in 1993.
Over the last 41 years (since true freshmen became eligible), 11 tight ends (including Butt) have played as rookies, but only Cooper caught a ball in the opener. That list includes sophomore Devin Funchess, who had 15 receptions a year ago but none in week one against Alabama.
Butt's accomplishment is even more significant when you consider that 31 wide receivers have seen the field for the Maize and Blue as true freshmen, 34 tailbacks and an additional 11 fullbacks.
Butt joins company with the likes of Anthony Carter, David Terrell, Braylon Edwards and Mike Hart. Receiver Martavious Odoms was the most productive of the 14 rookies to catch a ball in week one, hauling in five passes against Utah in 2008, while Carter and tailback Michael Shaw are the lone rookies to score a touchdown in a season opener.