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Alex Butterworth was the only Nittany Lion to punt the ball last year and was a key factor in helping the nationally-ranked defense, and changing the field position. Butterworth dropped 19 kicks inside the 20-yard line and had only two touchbacks in 2012, forcing the opposition to start a multitude of drives deep in their own territory. Coach Bill O'Brien has stated he is looking for more consistency throughout the special teams this season. Butterworth averaged 37.4 yards on his 51 punts last year, delivering five punts of 50 yards or more, topped by a 58-yard effort against Ohio State. He made good strides during his first full season as the Nittany Lions' punter and is working hard to continue providing consistent productivity during his senior campaign. Butterworth was recognized as the special teams' top achiever during winter conditioning. The former all-state kicker at Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis had the chance to play in front of many family and friends at Purdue last year and will have a similar opportunity when Penn State visits Indiana for the Big Ten-opener. Butterworth is on schedule to graduate next spring.
2012 (Junior Season)
Butterworth handled all the punting duties, averaging 37.4 yards on his 51 punts, with 19 kicks inside the 20-yard line and only two touchbacks. He delivered five punts of 50 yards or more, topped by a career-long 58-yard effort against Ohio State. Butterworth placed three of his five punts inside the 20 against Ohio and had a then-season-long 52-yard boot and a 41.7-yard average on three kicks at Virginia. He punted three times for a 43.3-yard average in the 35-7 win at Illinois. Butterworth dropped three of his five punts inside the 20 in the comeback victory over No. 24 Northwestern and delivered a then-season-long 54-yard effort. Against Ohio State, he dropped 4-of-5 punts inside the 20 and averaged 41.2 yards per punt, including a career-long 58-yard effort. Butterworth delivered his best overall effort of the season at No. 18 Nebraska, with three punts for a 47.7 average. He had a long kick of 56 yards and dropped one punt inside the 20. He punted five times in the win over Indiana, with a long of 52 yards and one kick inside the 20.
2011 (Sophomore Season)
Butterworth saw action in three games, punting eight times for a 38.5-yard average. In the season-opener with Indiana State, he placed two kicks inside the 20-yard line. Butterworth split punting duties with Anthony Fera against Alabama, averaging nearly 40 yards per kick, with a long of 45. He also saw action in the win at Northwestern, averaging 38 yards on two punts, with one kick good for 54 yards and landing inside the 20.
2010 (Freshman Season)
Butterworth was pressed into punting duties for the final three games of the season after Anthony Fera underwent an appendectomy three days prior to the Indiana game. One of seven true freshmen to play in 2010, Butterworth punted 12 times for a 38.1-yard average, with three kicks inside the 20 and three fair catches. He made his Penn State debut in the win over the Hoosiers, punting twice for a 41.0-yard average, with one punt downed inside the Indiana 15-yard line. He punted six times for a 34.5 average against Michigan State, with one kick landing inside the 20. Butterworth punted four times for a 42.0 average against Florida in the Outback Bowl, with a season-best 50-yard effort.
Butterworth was selected the 2009 Associated Press first-team all-state kicker, playing for Coach Ron Qualls at Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis. He was named the Indianapolis Star Mr. Football Kicking Specialist for Indiana in 2009 and was the first-team all-city kicker as a sophomore, junior and senior. He was 7-of-10 on field goal attempts as a senior, with no misses under 50 yards. His longest field goal was 52 yards. He also averaged 65.5 yards per kickoff and 38.3 per punt, with a long of 64 yards. Butterworth also was a member of the basketball (three seasons) and track (two seasons) teams.
Full name is John Alexander Butterworth. The son of John and Jennifer Butterworth, he has two brothers, Drew and Kyle. His grandfather, Duff McKenzie, played baseball at Purdue (1956-60) and an uncle, John McKenzie, played football for the Boilermakers (1980-84). In his spare time, Butterworth enjoys drawing and playing the drums. He is majoring in recreation, parks and tourism management. Born July 12, 1991 in Indianapolis, Ind.
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