Larry D Butler III was a highly touted Juco Linebacker a couple years ago, even rated #1 by many publications. Then, he went on to play his college football at Southern Nazarene, and now he’s trying to make an NFL roster for the 2017 season. I interviewed Butler about the vast experiences he has had so far, and where he hopes to go from here. Enjoy!
We’ll start off with a bit of a quirky question: You are Larry Butler the 3rd. Do you plan on passing that name down to your son as well and continuing the tradition? Is there family pressure to do so?
- I plan to end it right here, end the name “Larry Butler” with me. I plan to give my child more of a biblical name or something along those lines.
You played your high school ball at Southern Lab High School (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) you were all-state your senior year, what was that like being as dominant as you were?
- The season went very well. It was one of my most memorable seasons I’ve ever had. I felt like we were good enough to win a state championship. Unfortunately, injuries decimated us towards the end of the season, but it was definitely a memorable year and I feel like I grew a lot through the season mentally as well as physically.
After high school you went to Eastern Arizona for two years. Can you take us through the process of getting there?
- I was being moderately recruited by several Division I schools, had four mid-major offers. I was thinking of going to the University of Houston, while Kevin Sumlin was coaching, but due to me not getting the proper ACT score I had to go the junior college route, so low and behold I ended up at Eastern Arizona.
You were rated as a 3-star and one of the best Juco linebackers by ESPN and Rivals coming out of Eastern Arizona, what was your recruiting process like?
- Recruiting process out of Juco was great. That’s where I really made a name for myself. I had the title of “top JUCO linebacker” by a number of publications. In my sophomore year at Eastern, I had gotten injured, so I didn’t really get to end my JUCO career how I wanted. However, I was still being heavily recruited. I was committed to the University of Tennessee, but the SEC has its own math standards so I didn’t qualify to play for any teams in the SEC. So. I committed to New Mexico State and got up there for training camp, but then found out that one of my humanities courses did not transfer. So I was ineligible there as well, so I had to go the Division II route eventually. Overall the experience at Eastern Arizona was great. I made some connections outside of football that I still carry with me to this day.
What made you choose Southern Nazarene?
- Initially, coach Michael Cochran recruited me and I have the utmost respect for him. He’s a great Christian man, he’s a man of his word. It’s a Christian school, and I’m a firm believer in, “it doesn’t matter where you go, it matters how you play.” I had some top Division II offers: West Georgia, West Texas A&M, Henderson State, but I felt most comfortable at Southern Nazarene
At 6’1”, 240 Lbs., you have pretty ideal size. Have you always been big or have you filled-out since high school?
- I would say that I have always been big since about 15 or 16. I actually played running back when I first started playing football (my first four years). Around sophomore year, I tried to get bigger and I ended up getting too big and had to transition to defense.
You’ve had quite the career thus far, what is your greatest strength as a player?
- My greatest strength as a player physically is my functional strength and the intensity and passion I bring to the game. I’m not trying to sound not humble, but I don’t think that there is anyone out there that plays with the same intensity and drive that I do.
Contrary to your last answer, what facet of your game would you like to work on the most?
- You can always get better at every aspect, I would probably have to say my coverage; just need to refine that a little.
What Linebacker position fits you best, Mike? Sam? Will? Jack? 3-4 OLB?
- If you watch my highlights of my career thus far, I have played a lot of positions. I’ve played defensive end, fullback, outside linebacker. I feel like I’m just a football player; just plug me in anywhere and I will make plays sideline to sideline. I can do it all – I bring a lot of versatility to the game.
It says on your profile for Southern Nazarene that you also enjoy boxing. Is that something you have always enjoyed? Have you ever done it competitively?
- It’s funny, I didn’t really box until I was 20 years old, I was at the gym training like normally and I was asked if I wanted to try out boxing because it would help in training hand-eye coordination and reaction-time. I said “sure,” and I just started boxing. Had a couple fights, actually went 4-0 with two KOs. So after my football career, boxing may be something I pick up.
What’s one memory from your career thus far that you will never forget?
- When I was at Eastern Arizona, I got an offer from Kentucky and that was my first “SEC” offer and it was just a dream come true. Not an actual football memory but my dream had come true and I won’t ever forget that.
What level of football that you have played (high school, JUCO, and D2) was the most fun for you, and why?
- I would have to say my freshman year of high school or just high school in general. I just loved being with my teammates, and the overall experience, it was a lot of fun.
What do you hope to make of your football career from here?
- I signed with the Colorado Rush of the indoor football league, but I’m trying to make it on the roster of an NFL training camp this year and just try to make the 53 man roster from there.
What do you want readers to know about Larry D Butler III? Is there anything else you would like to say?
- I would like everyone to know that I’m a god-fearing man and I’m gonna be a force. And that you’re gonna be hearing more from me.
After talking to Mr. Butler, he’s got a fan in me. He’s an easy guy to root for, and I hope you’ll do the same. You can watch some of his on-field heroics here. You can also follow Larry D Butler on Twitter @_KingButler3.
You can follow me on Twitter as well: @Nfl_drafthub.
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