Marlin Butler already has a reputation as a talented swingman for the Southside Tigers basketball team. Last year he helped the Tigers reach the AA state championship game where they fell to eventual state champion Lee Central High School. He also plays on the AAU circuit with the Carolina Celtics. When we found out he was playing football too we were anxious to see how his athleticism on the basketball court would translate to the gridiron.
Standing 6'3 and weighing 191 pounds Butler has a college ready frame. He just doesn't have the looks of a college ready athlete but he's got the testing numbers that should have colleges from all over the country inquiring about him. Butler runs the 40 yard dash in 4.5 seconds and here's the kicker, he has a 38 inch vertical. We've seen some explosive athletes in our time but Butler has some extraordinary leaping ability. We witnessed him throw down some nasty slam dunks during last year's basketball season and normally the young man was ducking his head to keep from hitting the rim. In fact Butler says he first started dunking a basketball at the age of 13 during middle school.
Asked about his latest venture from the hardwood to the gridiron Butler said, "Lots of people were really surprised because nobody knew I played football when I was younger so it shocked lots of people."
While he's still got a lot of learning to do on the practice field it's there that Butler says he soaks up everything to improve daily as a football player. "Practice is what make me a good football player. Repetition and good coaching." As for what he feels are his strengths currently Butler said, "As a WR I can control whatever side of the field I'm on." We'd also suggest that his leaping ability and speed causes havoc for opposing defenders.
Just 2 games into the season his abilities are starting to come to fruition. (Interview was done before last week's game versus J.L. Mann) In just 2 games Butler has 9 catches for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns. Butler has also made 11 tackles as a strong safety for the Tigers.
The Tigers with their injection of athletes from their basketball team have upped their play early in the football season and they appear to have created some buzz for themselves as an offensive unit. Butler talked about the newfound success with their offense. "It's been alright, we have a new offense and we are starting to get it down pat so we should be alright by the time region comes around."
Just 2 games into his high school football career Butler has already heard from a college in regards to his recruitment. "Georgia Tech has already sent me a recruiting package." Not bad considering how early in his career it is. In regards to the Yellow Jackets they have already enjoyed success with a tall super athletic wide receiver with outstanding leaping ability in current Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson. While it's early to make a comparison there are plenty of similarities in regards to their physical attributes.
Furman and Elon have started to recruit Butler for his talents on the basketball court.
Butler's goals for the Tigers on the football field he says are to help them get to the playoffs and on the basketball court to win the state championship.
So far Butler says there hasn't been any player that was a tough matchup for him on the football field. On the basketball court he says Demarcus Cousins was the toughest player he's had to guard.
Butler, WR Chris Rhodes, DE Keensen Chambers, and WR Antonio Freeman are all members of the AA Upper State Championship basketball team and all of them are now on the football team as well. "We are together all the time even after school and we've brought a different attitude to the football program."
A Closer Look At...Marlin Butler
3 favorite music artists: Li'l Wayne, Ludacris ,Young Jeezy
Favorite movie: Love & Basketball
Favorite subject in school: English
Favorite food: Fries
Age when first dunked a basketball: 13
Dream school: North Carolina