Carson Butler, an ex-Renaissance High School two-way star — football and basketball — and former University of Michigan tight end, has found his way onto the Lions preseason roster. The 6-foot-5, 250 pound, rookie tight end was picked up by the Lions after a rash of injuries to their tight ends.
“I was in Green Bay during OTA’s and I got injured,” Butler said. “I got cut and was sitting around when the Lions called me. I went and got a physical and they signed me.
“The injuries to (Casey) FitzSimmons and (Brandon) Pettigrew left only three tight ends in camp. So we are getting a lot of opportunities in practice. I’m working hard to learn the playbook so I’m not thinking so much. I want to react to situations on the field quickly and that is getting better as I get more opportunities.” Butler said he is getting a good look from the coaches and he just wants to make the team and contribute.
“I think my chances are pretty good,” he noted. “I want to make the team on offense or special teams. I’ll do whatever the teams wants me to do.”
Butler said he did not stay at U-M for his senior season because the team was moving in a new direction.
“We have a new coach and a new scheme,” he said, “so I decided to leave. I still have a lot of love for the university. But the time was right for me and I hope the Lions give me the chance to prove to them I’m an NFL player.
Butler learned under one of the Detroit Public School League’s wonderful football coaches, William Hill, who died suddenly after the Phoenix won the PSL title at Ford Field in 2005. Butler made all-city and was a Dream Team member in football and earned all-state honors in basketball after averaging 21 points per game as a senior. In his junior year he was a key member on the Renaissance state championship basketball squad.