Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

2017 UNC Target: Matthew Butler

In-state defensive tackle recently received a Tar Heel scholarship offer.

GARNER, N.C. --- After visiting North Carolina last month, Matthew Butler received his fourth scholarship offer. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive tackle from Garner now lists the Tar Heels among the schools he’s considering.

Scouting Report

“He’s lean, he runs well, and he’s a very smart football player,” Garner head coach Thurman Leach said. “Sometimes he overanalyzes things too much and that might be one of his drawbacks. He’s very emotional.”

Prep Career

Since transferring into Garner from Fayetteville (N.C.) Pine Forest following his freshman year, Butler has been a varsity starter. That first season, his sophomore year, he accumulated 70 tackles, including 38 for a loss, eight sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Six games into the current season, Butler has totaled 31 tackles, including ten for a loss and 2.5 sacks. He also has 21 quarterback hits.


A couple of weeks ago, North Carolina became the latest school to offer Butler a scholarship. The ball got rolling on that offer after he attended the Tar Heels’ win over Delaware. He spent the day after the game emailing back and forth with Charlton Warren, who recruits Wake County for UNC.

“He was commenting on my mid-season junior film,” Butler said. “He said he liked how I hustled to the ball. And then he said, ‘Call me as soon as you can.’ I did and he told me again how much he liked my film and then he said, ‘We’d like to offer you.’ I thanked him and we talked about my interest in the program and my interest in college.”

Butler has also collected offers from Duke, NC State, and Virginia Tech.

“I just think [the UNC offer] means a lot because of Coach [Larry] Fedora and Coach [Gene] Chizik,” Butler said. “And now that I met Coach [Tray] Scott and Coach Warren. I know they all have real good credentials, especially Coach Chizik – I knew about him since I was little.”

Although he hopes to return to UNC later this season when the Tar Heels host a more formidable opponent, Butler enjoyed his time in Kenan Stadium that day.

“I like the stadium – I don’t know why, there was just something I liked about it,” Butler said. “And also, they had a pretty decent turnout even though it was in the rain.

“I got to talk to Coach [Tray] Scott and some of the defensive linemen after the game. I liked their attitude and the way they do things.”

Butler has also attended games this season at Duke (vs. Northwestern) and NC State (vs. Eastern Kentucky). Prior to the season, he visited Clemson, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech.

“I’m not really going to say that they’re leaders – I just like their programs – I like UNC’s program, I like Duke and NC State,” Butler said. “Duke and NC State are up-and-coming with real good coaches. UNC, their coaches have a lot of credentials. I also like Virginia Tech, because they’ve been historically successful. I like Clemson – it’s just a great atmosphere and they’re one of the top teams in the ACC. Wake Forest is also recruiting me and they’re up-and-coming with a very good structured coaching staff.”

Extra Notes

A year ago, Butler was a state qualifier in the shot put and also played basketball for Garner… In the classroom he holds a 3.5 GPA… Butler is very close with former teammate/current NC State wide receiver Nyheim Hines. He credits Hines for helping him gain exposure from colleges… He plans to pursue a law degree.

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