Juco spotlight: Butler County C.C.

EL DORADO, Kan. – The top football program in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference appears set to produce another bumper crop of major-college signees in this recruiting cycle.

Butler County Community College, league champion in 12 of the past 14 years, has started strong again this season with victories over Blinn College of Texas and conference foes Dodge City C.C. and Fort Scott C.C.

The latest group to play for coach Troy Morrell, who's in his 13th year at Butler, drew the interest of recruiters from approximately 50 schools in the spring. Morrell said his roster includes a pair of committed receivers – Javess Blue to Texas Tech and Devin Clarke to South Florida.

Blue, originally from Lake Wales (Fla.) High School, and Clarke, of Sebring, Fla., were placed at Butler by Texas Tech and USF after committing to the respective schools two years ago. Both are expected to be December graduates with three years after this fall to complete two seasons of remaining eligibility.

Others of note at Butler:

• Linebacker Tommy Sanders, with offers from Kansas State, Texas A&M, South Florida and Mississippi State, according to the junior college coach.

"He can run,” Morrell said. “He can cover. He can blitz. He can play special teams. He does it all."

• Running back Dreamius Smith, who signed with Kansas out of high school in Wichita, Kan., and has been offered by West Virginia. Morrell compared Smith’s size to Rudi Johnson, who led Butler to National Junior College Athletic Association titles in 1998 and 1999 before he starred at Auburn and played eight seasons in the NFL.

"Exceptional size," Morrell said. "And speed-wise, he’s one of the three to five fastest guys on our whole team."

• Running back Derrick Thomas, who’s received recruiting interest from Ole Miss and Tennessee. Thomas will have two years to play two seasons after a planned December graduation.

• Quarterback Billy Cosh, the son of South Florida defensive coordinator Chris Cosh, formerly at Kansas State. Billy Cosh signed with K-State out of high school in Maryland and transferred to James Madison before the return to Kansas.

Through three games, Cosh has thrown for 547 yards on 41-of-62 passing with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

"He’s got a great arm," Morrell said. "He’s a leader. He’s a no-brainer (Football Bowl Subdivision) quarterback."

• A loaded secondary that includes safeties Max Martinez and Tate Omli and cornerbacks Dexter McDonald, Torrel Saffold and John James.

The 6-foot-2, 203-pound McDonald made 17 tackles in seven games at Kansas last season after a redshirt in 2010.

"He’ll be an NFL guy," Morrell said. "With just that stature, he’ll get in camp with somebody, guaranteed."

Martinez has received interest from Baylor.

"He’s got that 4.4-corner speed and cover skills," Morrell said. "He fits a system for schools that can play an inside receiver man on man, yet he plays the run strong."

Omli is equally versatile, the coach said.

"He’s a safety who started two games at outside linebacker last year," Morrell said, "so he’s that guy who you can insert in the box. There’s a market for those guys. His speed and strength and awareness are really good."

James transferred to Butler last spring from Toledo.

• Middle linebacker Blake Bean. "Everybody liked him a lot in the spring," Morrell said. "Physical, can run, strong, got great balance, benches over 400 pounds. He’ll have a chance to be our leading tackler."

• An offensive line that features three prospects, including John McClure, a juco All-American as a freshman, Jesse Ingle and center Zach Burkhart.

• Defensive tackle Ufomba Kamalu, an import from Nigeria described by Morrell as “really raw.” Kamalu attended high school in Georgia and redshirted last year at Butler, leaving him three years to play three seasons after a planned December graduation.