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Vanderbilt Defense Top Five: Adam Butler

Over the next few days we'll discuss Vandymania's top five offensive and defensive players. Today we'll take a look at Duncanville, Texas native Adam Butler.

Adam Butler finished last season with seven tackles for a loss including three sacks.   With the departures of Caleb Azubike and Stephen Weatherly, that gives him the second most TFLs of any returning Commodore behind only Zach Cunningham.     

Butler has been willing to move around to help the team where needed.  After a true freshman season on the offensive line, he moved to defensive tackle in 2013 and earned five starts in 13 games.  As a redshirt sophomore, he played in all 12 games, including nine starts at defensive end.  Last year Butler moved back to defensive tackle where he finished with 18 tackles and three sacks against SEC competition.

In this video highlight from the 2013 Kentucky game at 0:06, Butler blocks the extra point which is then returned by Steven Clarke for a two-point conversion.  

This is nothing new for Butler who blocked eight kicks as a senior in high school.  He's moved all over the field for the 'Dores and contributed well on special teams.  Stat lines indicate he may be a little more motivated against SEC opponents as his 5.5 sacks over the last two seasons came against South Carolina (2 games), Ole Miss, Missouri, and Tennessee.

In the next video around the 1:31 mark, you see Butler chasing down the Missouri quarterback to lock up and seal the Vanderbilt victory.  With so many of the 'Dore leaders in last season's tackles for losses now gone, it will be interesting to see who steps up to take the lead in 2016.   Butler is a good candidate to be that player. 


On a defensive front that gets rotated during games to keep players fresh, Butler may be ready to contribute even more for his final season.  To prepare for his last year in black and gold he is said to have lost considerable body fat and may be in the best shape of his career.  He is now listed as 295 pounds on the team roster.  He's been a Vanderbilt representative for SEC media days twice and has one more year to try to bring them back to the bowl eligibility he enjoyed in his first two seasons as a Commodore.

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