BREAKING: 4-star John Butler Commits to Florida State

Leonard Hamilton has done it again.

Florida State has added another big time commitment for the 2021 class, this in the form of John Butler, a top-60 center from Greenville, SC. Butler stands at 7’1″ and 190-pounds and is the number two player in South Carolina (number one being current FSU commit Bryce McGowens).

The ‘Noles have been killing it on the recruiting trail recently, picking up the commitment of Butler this week and 5-star Matthew Cleveland committing last week. This pushes FSU to the number two ranked class in the country so far behind Villanova, with still 2-4 more players being taken in this class. It’s looking extremely likely that FSU will end up with a top-5 class for 2021, if not THE top class.

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While some people expected Ryan Mutombo to be the next person to pop for the class with both McGowens and Cleveland going after him, when Butler announced his top 6 last week of Alabama, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida State, and Wake Forest, a few people originally expected it to be South Carolina. Both of Butler’s parents went to USCe and his high school is just 100 miles from the campus of South Carolina. As the weekend passed, Florida State emerged as the leader and crystal ball picks and future casts flew in for Florida State. FSU owned 100% of all of his crystal ball and futurecast picks at the time of his commitment.

Credit both Steve Smith and Charlton Young on this recruitment, these two have been after Butler for a long time and it’s good to see Coach Smith have success on the trail. He was an extremely late addition to the coaching staff after Dennis Gates left for Cleveland State, but I’ve heard nothing but great things on both the coaching and recruiting side for him. He’s an extremely detailed game planner which leaks over into his recruitment and it’s paying off this summer.

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Florida State is still looking to take 2-4 more players in the 2021 class. They might be set on bigs, depending on what they do with Butler. He’s an extremely raw prospect, so they may not plan on playing him a ton his freshman season. I’ve been told this isn’t going to impact the staff’s pursuit of Ryan Mutombo and Efton Reid, which may hint towards the staff’s thoughts on the current state of the bigs. Malik Osborne will be a redshirt-senior, Balsa Koprivica will be a junior, and Quincy Ballard will be a redshirt-freshman, while Naheem McLeod is still expected to be a part of the 2021 class, as of now. McLeod may be pushed out, which is something I’d consider likely at this point.

Here’s a scouting report of the newest Seminole:


Length and Athleticism

I’m starting to sound like a broken record with these commitments and signees, but Florida State has landed another elite athlete, especially for someone at this size. John Butler’s incredibly mobile and runs like someone 6 inches shorter. His length leads him to be an incredible shot-blocker (more on this in a second) and he just skies over everyone for rebounds and dunks. He might be athletic enough to switch on the perimeter, which could lead to him playing the 4 some, which would be an incredible feat. I know the staff is salivating at the chance to mold Butler.

Offensive Potential

There are few 7-footers that can shoot the 3, handle the ball, and still have a post game. Butler is one of those guys. His tape has step-back 3s, crossovers, post hooks… his offensive potential is as high anyone coming in. I mean this clip alone made my eyes pop.

Sure, the competition is not quite an ACC standard, but 7-footers should not be able to do that with that level of ease. He can bring the ball up the court, he can pass out of double teams, he’s exactly what you want from a 7-footer offensively.


While his length and athleticism play a huge part in this, his timing is incredible for his age. He’s not the natural shot-blocker that someone like Ike Obiagu was stepping onto campus, but he’s definitely not far off either. Butler knows how to make up for a lost step, and is a really aggressive shot blocker. He may chase blocks a little too much, but I’d much rather have that than someone who is too timid.


Frame/Body Weight

His weight at 190 is the biggest concern, but he still has a year to develop and gain weight before he steps on campus. I’d love to see him add 20-30 pounds of healthy weight before he steps on campus and I’m sure FSU will give him workouts to do throughout this next season. Once he gets on campus, FSU’s strength and conditioning coach Michael Bradley will get him bulked up as he does with everyone.

You can follow your newest ‘Nole on Twitter @john_e_butler and on Instagram @john_e.butler.

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