BREAKING NEWS: Beavs land relentless defender

OREGON STATE'S penchant for unearthing football talent continues. is pleased to report Victor Butler, an athletic defensive end out of Rialto, Calif., is the newest addition to the OSU family. With the verbal commitment, Butler becomes the 25th member of the 2005 OSU class. As far as Butler's strong suits, take your pick. Because it's not often you see a defensive end who also returns punts. We talk with the newest Beaver and his prep coach in this BF.C exclusive.

Butler (6-4, 220) chose Oregon State over offers from Colorado State and Central Florida, along with heavy interest from San Diego State and others. Difficult to block, the Beavs see him wreaking havoc coming off the edge as a defensive end.

There's signed paperwork to mail but Butler said that's a formality -- he's 100 percent a Beaver and can't wait to get to Corvallis. An outstanding student at academic conscious Eisenhower High -- Butler posted a 3.95 GPA last term -- he easily achieved a qualifying score on the SAT.

SCHOOL'S LATE INTEREST in Butler, and his subsequent commitment days ago to coach Mike Riley, was due to a number of factors.

Butler tore it up in a coming-out year at Eisenhower last season, both at defensive end and at wide receiver. But not many college coaches were there to bear witness. Those that did, did so late, after many of the spots in their 2005 class were spoken for. A late bloomer, Butler didn't start as a junior -- there wasn't much of a tape to send out prior to his senior year. Then his senior tape went out very late in the recruiting year. In the end, though, hard work and persistence pays off.

"I had a lot of help from a lot of people to get here," Butler said. One was certainly Eisenhower coach Julius McChristian. And Butler said good friend Roy Hicks, a linebacker at Ike, helped tremendously in pushing him every day this offseason.

"He wasn't getting a lot of attention before the season started," said McChristian. "But now that he's proven himself on the field, it just goes to show what an athlete working hard and staying focused can accomplish. He's not a loud guy...He's just going to work to earn what it is he wants to accomplish."

Fortuitous for the Beavs was that San Diego State, Butler's early favorite, didn't keep in close contact down the home stretch these last few weeks. Riley offered Butler last Wednesday and after talking it over with his family, Butler knew he wanted to be in Corvallis, giving his verbal commitment to the Oregon State's head man three days after the offer was made.

"I was really impressed with Oregon State," said Butler of the school and staff. "When another week went by without hearing (from SDSU), I started wondering. I had been talking to Oregon State, and I realized I'd love to be a Beaver. They were the best choice to help me develop into a great individual and a great football player."

He'll arrive well in time for the start of fall camp and Butler, as humble as he is well spoken, had these words for the Beaver Faithful.

"Hopefully, I'll get out there on the field soon and make some things happen," he said. "Because I'm going to work hard and I know I have a lot to offer. They can expect big things from me."

DESPITE THE THOUSANDS of miles college recruiters log every year, and 24 hour wall-to-wall information and coverage, recruiting remains more art than science. Division 1-A talent slips through, and will continue to slip through, the grasp of college recruiters looking to uncover that diamond in the rough. McChristian feels Butler is one who has all the tools, physical and mental, to become an impact player at the next level.

"No doubt," said McChristian. "I think he'll excel... He works hard -- hard in the weight room. And if he wanted to gain weight to play defensive end, I think he'll take it upon himself and do so."

"I would describe him as a very active player. When he's playing defense, he's hard to block...He has a nose for the ball and when he's out there, he wants to make the tackle and make the touchdown."

McChristian said although the interest came late, schools were heavily drawn to Butler's unique combination of size, athleticism and speed. Ike's head man timed him at a true 4.6 in the forty last fall, and he probably plays faster than that out on the gridiron.

"It's kind of odd to have a guy that can play defensive end and then turn around and return punts," McChristian said. "That just goes to show he's a big kid who is a great athlete. And one thing I like about Vic -- is that he's a competitor. He loves to compete."

Butler put those athletic talents on display this spring for Ike's volleyball team after the team's star convinced him to try out. He became a force at middle blocker.

Victor Butler profile

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