|School:||C.D. Hylton HS, Woodbridge, VA|
Deon Butler had an excellent senior season, finishing with 20 touchdowns, over 1,000 yard receiving and eight interceptions. As a result of his accomplishments, Deon accumulated some impressive honors including: 1st Team Defensive Back and 2nd Team Wide Receiver for Virginia Class AAA, Washington Post 1st Team All-Metro as a punt returner and being honored by the Quarterback Club of Washington as one of the top 44 high school players in the Washington area. Despite his great senior season, Deon was overlooked by Division I-A schools on letter-of-intent day. When LionNews last talked to Deon, he was weighing his alternatives. Butler announced late last week that he had decided to walk on at Penn State. We caught up with Deon this weekend to discuss his decision and how he ended up at Penn State.
We started by asking Deon what he was thinking about after letter-of-intent day.
He told us, "I was weighing the options between walking on at D1-A schools and some D-1 AA schools that had offered scholarships. There was Coastal Carolina. I had a scholarship from Hampton and also from William & Mary. I was looking at those as far as scholarship schools and then I was weighing the options as far as walking on at a D-1A school like Maryland, UVA or Penn State. All of those had expressed interest in me as a walk-on recruit because they had recruited me previous to signing day as a scholarship player."
How did things get started back up again with Penn State?
"I gave them a call back and asked them about their walk-on policy. Basically everything went well from the start. Coach Johnson was recruiting me. I actually called him and asked him about it."
Deon told us that Coach Johnson said, "I can answer that question in one sentence. If you want it, you got it."
Deon continued, "Because they had been so close to offering me before, he (Coach Johnson) just knew they would really be excited to have me as a walk-on. Also, what also helped me out was that the two positions that they were kind of in need of players were wide receiver and defensive back, and I happened to play both in high school."
Deon confirmed to us that he is 6 feet tall (measured at Akron) and weighs 165 pounds. He also confirmed his 4.46 40 time. Did Penn State say what position he would be most likely to play?
"Most likely defensive back, but [Coach Johnson] really didn't give an implication of that."
Did Coach Johnson tell him anything else?
Deon told us, "He fully expects me to earn a scholarship after the first year, because basically, I almost had the scholarship in my hand in the beginning. Things just didn't work out with the defensive backs coach (Bradley) coming to the meeting and everything. But he fully expects me to earn a scholarship. He's seen what I can do and they need players at those positions (wide receiver and defensive back). He knows pretty much that I can get the scholarship. That's what I'm aiming for, to help my parents out because it's an expensive school."
So why did Deon choose Penn State over his other Division I-A options?
"I had been on an official visit there, so I spent the most time at that school. Plus, I really liked it and I got along with the players. You can just feel it when you're in the right place and I felt very comfortable there. I got along with the players and coaches real well and I was excited about Penn State football. Academic-wise, it's a great facility, so that sold my parents."