OXFORD, Ohio — Miami University football coach Chuck Martin has rarely seen a player compete each day like junior defensive lineman Kam Butler.
"I've been coaching for 29 years," Martin said. "And I'm talking every day at practice. His motor runs as hot as any player I've ever coached."
Butler, a 2018 Covington Catholic High School graduate, is one of the RedHawks' top players on the roster this season.
It's more than just statistics.
"Even our hardest-working teammates would tell you Kam Butler never has an off switch," Martin said. "He just plays at a feverish pace and a relentless pursuit."
Last week, Butler was named the Mid-American Conference East Division defensive player of the week.
He had five tackles (3 1/2 tackles for loss) including 2 1/2 sacks in a 38-7 win at Akron.
"(On Nov. 28 at Akron) I swear every time I looked up he was either sacking somebody, a tackle for loss or he was chasing somebody a hundred miles an hour," Martin said. "It was literally like they can't block him."
Butler was part of a defense that recorded 10 tackles for loss and seven sacks as the RedHawks (2-1) held Akron to just four rushing yards.
"He's become one of the premier players in our league," Martin said.
Butler, 20, said his commitment in every practice and game is natural.
He's grateful for the opportunity to play for the RedHawks especially during this unique season in the COVID-19 pandemic. He sees no reason why he can't give his all each play.
"Don't take anything for granted," Butler said. "Always keep working because you don't know when it's going to get taken away and you don't know when your time is going to be called upon. Keep your head down every week and keep working on the things that got you where you are and not to take it all for granted. And to enjoy every moment of it."
Butler's mentality is not surprising to CovCath football coach Eddie Eviston.
"I'm extremely proud of how he's conducted himself, how he continues to grow as a player," Eviston said. "He's continuing to reach for more and more, and that's awesome to see."
Butler played linebacker, tight end and on the defensive line for the Colonels. As a senior, he helped lead CovCath to the 2017 Class 5A state title.
Eviston remembers when Butler could anticipate which offensive play was being run during the Colonels' practice for a game.
Butler received the scouting report on the Colonels' upcoming opponent on a Monday and knew it by heart the next day. His film study helped prepare him for college football.
"Our practices were never boring with Kam on the field," Eviston said. "Kam was a guy that he liked to run around. He's not shy from talking a little smack. But that made practices what they were, especially kind of with the monotony of a high school practice."
Butler is studying sport management at Miami and would like to eventually be involved in sales with a connection to sports.
He simply enjoys being around the Miami football family with an opportunity to receive a quality education.
"Just being on the field with each other is just fun," Butler said. "Football is just fun. We just focus on going out playing fast and for playing for one another."
Martin is grateful for Butler's work ethic, commitment and character as a student-athlete.
"What he's done for our program -- not just be a great player -- but set the bar every day for how you show up to work," Martin said. "It's on all the time. It doesn't matter if it's a walk-through -- it's on. He plays at an incredible pace. I've coached a long time. It's hard to find kids like this."