Offseason spotlight: Duke

Our offseason spotlight series continues today with Duke. A reminder: This series features individual players, position groups and coaches who really need to have big offseasons -- starting this spring.

Spotlight: Defensive back Lee Butler, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, rising redshirt senior.

2011 summary: Butler played in the first four games of the year before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury against Tulane. Prior to the injury, he had four total tackles along with one interception return of 76 yards for a touchdown against Stanford. Butler also was Duke’s leading punt return specialist, taking back seven kicks for a 9.4 yards per return average. Butler’s injury left a playmaking void in Duke’s secondary, and the Blue Devils went on to finish tied for 11th in the ACC with just six interceptions and were last in the conference in pass efficiency defense.

The skinny: Butler has 113 career tackles, three interceptions and 12 pass breakups in 38 career games. He’s a versatile defensive back who has played cornerback and safety for Duke and gives defensive coordinator Jim Knowles the luxury of inserting him at either spot in 2012. Butler, who also is a threat in the return game with 35 career punt returns for an 8.6 yards per return average, has resumed full-speed workouts this offseason. He’s also a two-time academic all-ACC selection.

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