Devin Butler knew right from the start that SIU was the right fit for her. In her favor, the coaching staff felt the same way about the Harrisburg senior.
Recently, Butler signed her National Letter of Intent to play soccer for the newly formed Saluki women's program and in the process, she was able to check off a lot of boxes that were important to her, mostly being part of the inaugural recruiting class.
"I was very excited to hear that SIU was getting a women's soccer team," Butler said. "I signed up for their ID Camp in September and knew from the camp that I was very interested. I emailed coach (Grant) Williams and talked with him a few times. I went on a visit on October 1st and met all three coaches. I am so excited to be a part of this program and building it up. I was also comfortable knowing the other two local commits were former teammates as well. SIU being close to home was also a big attraction."
Right now, Butler will join Marion's Marissa Basi and Blake Clark as three local products.
Butler, who is entering her final year at Harrisburg this spring, recently picked up All-South and All-Conference honors in volleyball. She has been out of club soccer for the last four years, which she said has not been good to the overall development of her game."
"I am athletic and I have the technical skill to compete, but I know I need to improve on the mental and tactical aspect of the game. I think that is where being out of club soccer for the last four years has really hurt me."
Butler said she has met all three coaches and doesn't know what the plan or position is for her yet. The idea of redshirting with a brand new program starting doesn't seem like one that would happen.
"I'm sure its a possibility, but it's nothing that has been talked about. The program is brand new so it's going to take time for everything to come together. I have a lot of work to do and I'm just thankful for the opportunity that coach Williams has given to me."
Butler said she plans on majoring in physical therapy and would like to work in one of the surrounding hospitals.
Butler made All-South the last two seasons and capped off a 2018 spring campaign with 28 goals and 17 assists in 14 games, finishing with 73 total points. Butler concluded her sophomore season with 23 goals and 12 assists and despite playing a majority of her time on defense as a freshman, Butler still managed 11 goals.
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.