Virginia-Bound Transfer Kameron Butler Preparing Hard For New Team, New Role

The University of Virginia football program finished the 2021 campaign near the bottom among all FBS schools defensively. The Hoos ranked no. 121 in total defense, tied for no. 107 in sacks per game, and no. 104 in scoring defense. New head coach Tony Elliott hired former Air Force defensive coordinator John Rudzinski to lead the defensive turnaround, and this spring Elliott has been pleased with the player response.

The Virginia defense hopes to see Kameron Butler making big plays in the backfield throughout 2022. ~ Photo credit: Miami (OH) Athletics

“Defensively, there has been a ton of energy,” Elliott said during his April 2 press conference. “I know the perspective of the defense last year, but I tell you what, those guys have been impressive so far. Coach Rud coaches with a lot of energy. The guys are feeding off of it.”

While current players appear to be making headway, potential key pieces to the 2022 Cavalier defense are not yet on Grounds. Headlining the group of incoming transfers is defensive end Kameron Butler, who will enroll at UVA this summer after graduating from Miami (OH) this spring. Butler enjoyed a stellar four-year career with the RedHawks, earning All-MAC honors three times including All-MAC First Team in 2021, when he finished with 53 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss with eight sacks.

While he is not physically in Charlottesville participating with the team, Butler has been very much involved with the Cavalier program since signing a grant-in-aid in February.

“I’ve been on FaceTime, Zoom, and text with the defensive staff,” said Butler. “We’ve talked about where I fit in the defense and what I’ve been doing on my own to be prepared to compete for playing time.”

“I really like Coach Rud and Coach Slade,” Butler added. “Both are good dudes and are smart coaches. They ask me how school’s goin and how training is goin.”

The 6’3”, 250-pound Butler has been given a clear picture of the role he will play once he arrives in Charlottesville. He has been training accordingly.

“I’ll be playing the bandit position, which is like a weak side DE/LB hybrid,” said Butler, who has one year of eligibility remaining. “I think the position suits me well being able to rush the passer, line up in different spots, and do some drops.”

“This spring I’ve been training at Black Sheep Performance,” Butler said. “I’m focused on getting stronger and faster. I’ve also been working on playing in a two-point stance because all I’ve done at Miami is have my hand in the dirt. Also been working on drops and d-line hand work at Black Sheep.”

The opportunity to work with Virginia defensive ends coach Chris Slade, a UVA legend as a player who moved on to a successful NFL career, appealed to Butler, who hopes to be part of a resurgent Cavalier pass rush.

“He has the sack record for the ACC,” Butler said of Slade. “His expertise definitely appealed to me when I was making my decision.”

In addition to making plays in opposing backfields, “I hope to bring a high level of experience to the position group,” said Butler, who played in 40 career games at Miami.

Furthermore, “I’m looking forward to playing at a higher level against great competition and making an athletic jump. I’m excited to play against a higher level of competition,” Butler said, adding that the “ACC is a great league with great teams and I obviously want to have success.”

Football isn’t the only opportunity Butler is excited about at the University of Virginia.

“I’m also excited to get my Masters in Education from UVA because of the great academic reputation it has,” he said. “I plan on getting