Butler addition boosts Iowa backfield - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Butler addition boosts Iowa backfield

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The Iowa football team appears to once again have that big one-two punch in the backfield. Last year it was Leshun Daniels and Akrum Wadley. Wadley returns, but this time with a new partner.

That was on full display at Iowa's annual kids' day scrimmage Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. The day marked the first live action in black and gold for Nevada graduate transfer James Butler.

Butler ran for over 1,300 yards and tacked on nearly 400 more on the receiving end last year for the Wolfpack.

He adds another solid, strong option on the ground for the Hawks which is a welcome thing for Wadley.

“It only did nothing but help us. We need depth at running back, and James, he's a great guy,” said Wadley, “He's versatile. He can catch out of the backfield, and he can run.”

“Akrum's shifty, not the biggest, so asking him to do 25 carries might be asking too much every game,” added junior offensive lineman Keegan Render, “so having James around, a thicker back who runs downhill, is really good.”

Kirk Ferentz agrees.

“It's hard to evaluate guys until you're really tackling. This is the first time we've been tackling. It was good to see him run,” said Ferentz, “I thought when we went to a live period he looked more impressive, so he's really going to help our football team.”

Butler is expected to share carries with Wadley when the Hawkeyes open the regular season on September 2 against Wyoming.

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