Stanford commit Treyjohn Butler is one of the headline recruits in the 2016 Cardinal class and has had an impressive rise as one of the nation’s top defensive backs.
That rise will be chronicled in a documentary.
“My journey wasn't picture perfect,” Butler said. “I want to be able to share with others that no matter what, you can do it, but also to show them the outline to do what it takes.”
Butler’s long-time coach, trainer and “big brother” Robert Bourne II, who had a short NFL career, came up with the idea. He hoped telling Butler’s story of dedication and perseverance would help younger players.
“A lot of kids react only to the final product, that's it,” Butler said. “Coach Rob thought it was needed to help benefit the youth that I influenced so much in my community.”
Bourne describes Butler as a “thoroughbred” and a “diamond in the rough”. He met Butler his freshman year of high school and wanted to show players how to play “the right way”.
The rest is history.
“Treyjohn was drawn to that, and said, ‘Coach can you show me more?’,” Bourne said. “So he became my little brother, and he was attached at my hip every day from his freshman year to his senior year.”
The two share an inseparable bond and an unwillingness to give up. As a player, Bourne took to YouTube to send a message to all NFL general managers in hopes for a chance.
Bourne also assumed a big brother role to the young defensive back. Butler said he grew up without his father for the most part. Bourne wasn’t going to become Butler’s father, but a friend, confidant, coach and mentor.
“I wasn't seeking a father figure, I was seeking a male figure to look up to. I need that loving, supportive figure. I love him and I thank him for everything,” Butler said.
Butler’s support system consists of Bourne, his mother and older brother.
That support helped fuel his success on the field.
That’s something Bourne knew from the first time meeting Butler.
“When I first met him on the football field, I told him “You have something unique a lot of other kids don’t have”, and no one had ever talked to him like that before that and told him his ability.”
Now Butler’s high school career is over, and he is working to sharpen his talents for the next level, both on the field and in the classroom. The documentary will showcase that work and highlight how he got to where he is today.
“I'm basically trying to attack my mind. I know my body can do about anything, but if I can attack my mind now at this level and get me to think I'm already (at Stanford). I will feel like I'll have a mental advantage at day one.”
Filming will continue through mid-May to include Butler’s high school graduation.