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June 2012
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Tilghman's Butler to walk on at UK

By Daniel Paulling dpaulling@paducahsun.com

Batman and Robin have reunited.

Paducah Tilghman senior Miles Butler on Wednesday accepted a preferred walk-on role to kick at Kentucky. He'll join former Blue Tornado teammate J.D. Harmon on the Wildcats.

The two called themselves Batman and Robin when they played in 2011. Harmon, then a senior, scored the touchdowns, and Miles, a sophomore, followed with the extra points. They proved to be a dynamic duo, as the Blue Tornado went 10-3 but lost in the Class 3A state semis.

If those two and linebacker Josh Forrest start, former Blue Tornado coach Randy Wyatt says, Paducah Tilghman would have three graduates starting for the first time since the early 1990s, when Billy Swanson, Neal Clark and Kurt Johnson did so.

Because he's a preferred walk-on, Butler won't have to try out and is guaranteed a spot on the team's 105-man roster. But he won't receive an athletic scholarship.

He'll compete for a backup role behind starter and redshirt freshman Austin McGinnis after senior Joe Mansour finished his Wildcats career. The senior went 12 of 14 on field goals and 28 of 30 on point after attempts last season, as the Wildcats went 2-10 and 0-8 in the SEC.

Butler went 26 of 40 on field goals and 142 of 155 on extra points for the Blue Tornado with a career long of 49 yards his senior season. His work, Wyatt says, gave Butler another nickname: "Money Man Miles."

But kicking in high school is different from attempting a field goal in the SEC, which Butler describes as the toughest college football conference. Wyatt doesn't think Butler will be fazed.

"He's one of the guys that embraces pressure," Wyatt says. "Those are the guys you want. He hopes it would come down to him so he could kick the winning field goal."

Despite being a Wildcats fan, Butler originally planned to attend Alabama because of opportunities he could pursue with his intended double major of economics and finance before going to law school. He switched after Wildcat coaches contacted him about two weeks ago.

Even if he doesn't earn a scholarship or a starting role, Butler says he received enough of an academic scholarship to help him pay for college and that he plans to play his entire undergraduate career.

But he hopes for a chance to kick extra points after a few more touchdowns from Harmon, a cornerback who may return kicks.

"He gets the six, I add the one," Butler says. "I'm excited to see what he's got in store."

Call Daniel Paulling, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8662, or follow on Twitter @DanielPaulling.

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