But not only does she relish his Parade All-American production on the football field, but also in the actions off the field of Roy Upchurch (6-1, 190, 4.4).
Upchurch is a Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby prep standout who will be one of 14 or so recruits offically visiting Arkansas this weekend.
"He's just a great guy with a great sense of honor," Upchurch-Butler notes. "Our whole family does a lot to help those in the community that are less fortunate and it is a great learning tool about not only appreciatintg what you have, but also about how to live your life and help your fellow man."
The Upchurches participate in a Christmas effort to help out the elderly and underpriviledged kids and Roy is is also involved in programs that teach younger kids about staying away from drugs and other pratfalls that could keep you from your full potential.
"We have a flag football game at the end for the third and fourth graders and it is always a lot of fun," Upchurch said. "It is something that gives you a feeling that you are making a difference."
Certainly Upchurch is a difference-maker on the field as evidenced by the fact that he rushed for 2,543 yards and 27 touchdowns this season. That included 303 yards in a single game against East Gadsen.
"I think I am a pretty good back," understated Upchurch. "I just try and go out and do what it takes to help my team win."
Upchurch-Butler, who obviously knows her football and has some family in Arkansas, sees a star in the making -- but not a finished prospect.
"I would like to see him run a little lower and I think he needs to work on making sure he doesn't fumble," she said. "But he is a very good player who sees the field well and can turn on the jets and run away from you."
Arkansas assistant Chris Vaughn, who is a Godby grad and family friend, will join Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt on Thursday night for a home visit.
"Coach Vaughn is a great guy and our relationship is more than about football," Upchurch said. "I know if I come up there he will look out for me."
Upchuch, who will soon be announced as a Parade All-American, has already visited Alabama. And hometown Florida State would love to keep him in Tallahassee.
"Actually most people around here tell me I need to get away and go make a name for myself instead of staying around here," Upchurch said. "I think that sounds like the best thing for me to do."
He said the trip to Alabama was enlightning.
"I had a real good time there and got to meet the players and coaches and see what Alabama was all about," Upchurch said. "Now I am excited about visiting Arkansas and seeing how it compares."
Arkansas has impressed Roy's mom as well.
"Coach Vaughn and Arkansas have done a wonderful job presenting their school to us," Upchuch-Bulter said. "It appears to the perfect mix of an educational institution, football program and community. They seem to be everything I would want for my son. The people are warm and personable and that means a lot to me."
Roy says he is ready for the recruiting process to come to an end. Arkansas certainly hopes it comes to and end with the Razorbacks on top.
If it does, then Upchurch would join Tallhassee Rickards running back and friend Michael Smith, who has already committed to the Razorbacks.
"Mike and I are tight and I think it would be great to go to the same place as him," Upchurch said. "Coach Vaughn has told us we could be 'Thunder and Lightning' up there. That sounds pretty good to me."
DUDLEY E. DAWSON IS A STAFF WRITER FOR HAWGS ILLUSTRATED, A STEPHENS MEDIA GROUP PUBLICATION. HIS COLUMN APPEARS EACH TUESDAY. E-MAIL: DEDSPORTS@AOL.COM
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