QB Butler is a Rising Star

There's always a plethora of talent in Prince George's County, although the area hasn't exactly been a quarterback hotbed. But at Frederick Douglass (Upper Marlboro, Md.), sophomore triggerman Devin Butler, a 6-foot-3, 187-pound dual-threat, is on track to change that.

There's always a plethora of talent in Prince George's County, although the area hasn't exactly been a quarterback hotbed. But at Frederick Douglass (Upper Marlboro, Md.), sophomore triggerman Devin Butler, a 6-foot-3, 187-pound dual-threat, is on track to change that.

Reared in the Upper Marlboro youth leagues since he was five years old, Butler has been playing quarterback for over a decade. He said he can throw the ball 80 yards and has been working with personal trainers on his footwork, arm slot, follow through and the like for years.

"My arm is pretty good, I can make plays with my arm and my feet, and I make good decisions on the field," Butler said. "Mainly I've been working on my accuracy since I have to get that more consistent. But what I need to work on most is my leadership. I'm the quarterback, and I have to be more of a vocal leader instead of just sitting back and taking it all in. That's going to be a main focus for me this season."

When Butler reached eighth grade he was recruited by all the local private school powers, including Good Counsel, St. John's, Gonzaga and Bishop McNamara. But he opted to stick with the nearby public school, even though the offensive system isn't quite as quarterback friendly as some other programs'.

"I did think about going to a place like St. John's or Good Counsel or Gonzaga, but at Douglass it was just a different atmosphere that I really liked," Butler said. "They brought me in like family there. They arranged ways to help me get to school, worked with me after school on my game, allowed me to work with the older quarterbacks after school so I could learn the system better, and helped me in the classroom. Since I've been here it's been great and I have no plans on leaving."

After spending one season on jayvee, Butler was not only elevated to the varsity, but handed the starting role from the jump. Playing on a young Douglass squad that lacked experienced receivers and linemen, Butler rushed for 800 yards, threw for 500 and totaled 10 touchdowns.

"We had to run more this year with all the youth on the team, and it was up to me to make plays on rollouts and such," Butler said. "I didn't have a ton of receiving targets to throw to, but this year everyone is a year older and we should get back to throwing the football more."

Even with limited attempts, Butler has already caught the eye of numerous college recruiters. He does not hold any offers, but has spoken to coaches from Virginia Tech and Maryland, and has received camp invites from the Terps, Hokies, Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Ohio State and Penn State.

"Of course Maryland has been in touch. I've talked to Coach [Mike] Locksley before, and he was mainly saying he liked my game but wants me to keep my grades up," Butler said. "Some schools are looking at me for safety because of my height, but most, like Maryland, like me at quarterback. I really don't care what position I play, but I'd love the opportunity to play quarterback in college."

If the Terps do eventually extend an offer to the sophomore gunslinger, Butler would be very receptive. He grew up a Maryland fan and is familiar with the program.

"A Maryland offer is something I've dreamed of," Butler said. "I love the uniforms, how they're going to the Big Ten … I didn't get to go up there last year, but I was at a junior day before and it was nice. The people on campus, how the place was set up, meeting the coaches – I liked it a lot."

Butler admitted he has thought about leaving the DMV for college, but he's not opposed to sticking around either. He said the chance for his friends and family to see him play on a consistent basis is something he's taking under consideration.

"I do like the area, and I know it well, so I'd be cool with staying home," Butler said. "We'll see how everything goes, but it would be good for my mom to be able to come to my games."

The Douglass quarterback said he planned to attend Maryland's spring game April 11 and will also be at a camp this summer. He said he's looking forward to watching how the Terps' offense works, as well as meeting the coaches again.

"I know they run the spread, and that's what I love," Butler said. "The option, the zone read, running play-action and rolling out – that's what I do. That type of offense spaces out the defense and makes it difficult to cover, so that's the system I want to play in in college."

Besides UMD, Butler has attended a camp at Virginia Tech and taken in a game and camped at Penn State. But while he enjoyed both, he said neither school is exactly what he's looking for in a college.

"They're both great places, but Penn State is kind of in the middle of nowhere, and I'm looking for more of a city atmosphere," said Butler, who is setting up camps at LSU, Ohio State and Georgia Tech, in addition to Maryland. "Virginia Tech, it was kind of the same deal as Penn State.

"That's why I like Maryland; there's a lot going on around there."

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