Lumberjack football has had few names as memorable as Emmanuel Butler’s. The recent NAU graduate leaves an illustrious career in his wake, terrorizing end zones all over the Big Sky Conference.
The wide receiver had a productive career in NAU blue and gold, with totals of 187 receptions, 3,217 receiving yards and 33 touchdowns. In 2015 he was selected for Associated Press First Team All-America and he broke single-season records for both receiving yards (1,208) and touchdowns (15). In that 2015 season he held an average of 109.8 receiving yards per game, an incredible standard of performance for the Phoenix native. His senior season was cut to just two games due to a shoulder injury.
Over his four-year stint with the Lumberjacks, Butler played at a high level with consistency. He was chosen as a member of the All-Big Sky First Team in back-to-back seasons, and he is the program’s leader in all-time receiving yards and touchdowns.
Butler still excels on the gridiron currently. He participated in the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, where only four other players from the Big Sky Conference were invited among a total of 338. The wideout measured in at 6-foot-3-inches tall and weighed 217 pounds. Butler displayed a 36” vertical jump, 115” broad jump and recorded 11 reps on the bench press.
Butler recently signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints.
As Butler continues his football career, he leaves a great one behind in Flagstaff. He is the only player in program history to have 1,000 receiving yards in a season twice, and had 11 games over 100 receiving yards. Whether it’s burning defensive backs down the sideline or leaping over defenders for an acrobatic catch, the man has done it all. No matter how far football takes Butler, he will always have a strong support system in northern Arizona.
Adrian Nixt and Anna Goebel
The NAU women’s soccer team has had their fair share of legacies left behind. Forward Adrian Nixt left her imprint on the program long before she left the mountain town after graduating in 2017.
As a freshman, Nixt grabbed a Big Sky Honorable Mention after she scored the game-winning goal during the Big Sky Championship semifinals.
By her junior year she climbed from an honorable mention to All-Conference First Team then Second Team her senior year. After scoring a hat trick in 2017, Nixt was selected as offensive Big Sky Player of the Week.
Her aggressiveness on the field is shown through the numbers she posted during her time at NAU.
Nixt holds a spot in the top 10 of three categories. She is No. 4 in game-winning goals with 10, tied for No. 7 in points at 45 and No. 7 in goals at 18.
Alongside Nixt was forward Anna Goebel. During their junior years, Goebel made three goals during the Big Sky Conference tournament alone with two being game winners. This was the same year the team lost in the championship. The performance had Goebel selected to be on the All-Tournament team.
Both athletes played under the reign of Andre Luciano through their entire collegiate careers. Before their senior years, Luciano took the team on a tour through Spain. They immersed themselves in the culture and expressed their thoughts to NAU Athletics.
“It will be nice to witness soccer as a priority, and I think this trip will give me an even better perspective on the game I love,” Goebel said.
This was the last team to take a trip as large as this one, and also the ones who went furthest in the Big Sky Championship.
“As a group we live and breathe soccer daily, but I think we will really be in for a treat when we see die-hard soccer fans who get to spend their lives watching pros play,” Nixt said.