A year ago, Malcolm Butler was a virtually unknown cornerback out of West Alabama trying to attract the attention of NFL scouts.
His stats were pedestrian—seven passes defensed and 19 tackles—and according to Pro Football Focus, he was only on the field for 187 snaps.
But after coming up with a dramatic end-zone interception of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to clinch Super Bowl XLIX, one fan at the Patriots’ victory parade gave Butler the Darrelle Revis treatment:
Such is life for an NFL defensive back. Butler became the hero mere minutes after being an unwitting observer on Jermaine Kearse’s juggling, tumbling 33-yard reception down the right sideline that got the Seahawks down to the New England 5-yard line.
That’s not to say Butler wasn’t a standout at West Alabama—a member of the Division II Gulf South Conference. Butler was a first-team All-GSC selection as a senior after leading the conference with 18 passes defensed.
A native of Vicksburg, Miss., Butler ended up at West Alabama after two seasons at Hinds Community College in Mississippi.
So, no, not your typical route to being a defensive back with his own island named after him.
- Phil Watson