ANN ARBOR — The Michigan football program announced on Thursday that Jake Butt is out indefinitely after tearing his ACL.
Michigan said in a release that Butt sustained the injury during winter conditioning.
Butt, a freshman tight end from Pickerington, Ohio, had 20 catches for 235 yards and two touchdowns in 2013 and was groomed to provide Michigan with both a blocking and receiving option this season.
Butt enrolled at Michigan in January, 2013, and the 6-foot-6, 246-pound freshman added nearly 40 pounds to his frame before the end of the 2013 season.
Butt said in December that he had seen the most growth in his blocking, which became essential in his role with the Wolverines last season.
Butt’s injury leaves Michigan with two experienced options at tight end: Devin Funchess, who played at tight end and wide receiver and was the Wolverines’ second-leading receiver in 2013 with 49 catches for 748 yards and six touchdowns, and reserve A.J. Williams, who had one catch for two yards in 11 games.
Incoming freshman Ian Bunting could also enter the fold.
Several recruiting services place the 6-foot-6, 210-pound player among the nation’s top 10 high school tight ends.
Butt is the eighth player Michigan has lost to an ACL injury since August, 2012. Whitmer graduate and defensive end Chris Wormley missed the 2012 season after tearing his ACL during preseason training, while defensive back Blake Countess tore his ACL in September, 2012, against Alabama and missed the entire season.
Linebacker Jake Ryan and quarterback Russell Bellomy sustained ACL tears during spring practices last March; Ryan returned to play in October, while Bellomy was cleared to play in November.
Running back Drake Johnson tore his ACL in Michigan’s 2013 season-opener against Central Michigan, while defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins and offensive lineman Joey Burzynski sustained ACL tears in a span of two weeks in October.
A Michigan spokesman said he did not have any details on when Butt will undergo surgery.
Michigan begins spring practices on Feb. 25, and the spring game is scheduled to be played on April 5 at Michigan Stadium.