Jonathan Baldwin, the 6-foot-6, 200 pound wide receiver from Aliquippa Senior High School (Pa.), claims to have offers from Michigan, Georgia Tech, Mississippi, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Ohio State, Florida, Florida State, Miami and Alabama.
“Right now I don’t have a favorite, but I’d say my top picks are Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Pittsburgh and Alabama,” Baldwin said. “I want to take officials (trips) to all those except Pitt. I’m really familiar with Pitt since I live so close to the campus.
“I really like Michigan,” he said. “They’ve been recruiting me the hardest. I get a lot of text messages from them. They want me for receiver. I know I’d have a chance to go in there and start early.
“I went there for the Michigan/Michigan State game last year. I really liked the campus. Everything is new there and really cool. I think I’m going to take an official this summer.
“I want to take an official to Alabama too,” said Baldwin, who benches 320 pounds. “They just got Coach (Nick) Saban, who’s a former NFL coach. I hear a lot from them too. They offered me about a month ago. I know Coach Saban could make me NFL-bound.
“I’ve never been to Alabama,” he added. “I’d like to get down there to check out the campus and the area. I heard its real cool down there.
“I’m also interested in Notre Dame. I got the offer in the mail and then Charlie Weis called my school and he told my coaches that they could do big things with me, considering my size and speed…that I was just the type of receiver they were looking for.
“He said that I have a chance to start early at Notre Dame too,” said Butler, who finished his junior season with 21 catches for 470 yards and five touchdowns. “I’m going to take an official there this summer too.”
The Pennsylvania recruit, who is credited with consistent 4.4 forty speed, said that hometown Pittsburgh was also high on his list. “I know a lot about Pitt. They were one of my first offers. I went to camp there last year and ran a 4.31 forty.
“I talk to Coach (Dave) Wannstedt and Coach(Matt) Cavanaugh (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks) a lot. I know a lot of people that go there and they really like it. The team is really getting good too.
USC is the only one of Butler’s top five who has not offered. “I want to go and check out USC,” he said. “I’ve talked to them a few times and I know I’m on their radar. I’m feeling I should be getting an offer from them soon.
“I like USC because they are a great program. They are one of the best conference schools and I want to play in a top conference. I’m going to take an official out there this summer hopefully.”
Butler said he received his offer from Florida State this afternoon (April 18). “I just got it. They called my school and I happened to be there talking to one of my coaches. I think it was Coach (Bobby) Bowden, but I’m not sure. He said that I was the exact type of receiver they were looking for and that I could start early.
“All my Florida offers sort of came in all together in the past two weeks,” he added. “I got my offer from Florida, then Miami and now Florida State. It’s sort of weird. I’m not sure about any of them yet. I need to visit them before I can say anything.
“My speed is my biggest strength,” Butler said. “I’m quick off the line and I have soft hands. I’m really good at catching the long ball.
“I really want to get bigger and even faster. I want to be able to burn guys right off the line so nobody can catch me.”
Butler says he doesn’t know when he’ll make his decision, but he wants to have it narrowed down to his top two or three by the end of summer.
He reports a 3.3 core GPA and is scheduled to take his first-time SAT in May.