Defensive back Malcolm Butler helped secure a dramatic victory for the New England Patriots Sunday when he picked Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on the ensuing possession at the goal line Sunday night during Super Bowl XLIX. Butler, 24, was an underdog heading into the Super Bowl.
Butler graduated from West Alabama. He is from Vicksburg, Mississippi. He weighs 180 pounds and is about 5'11'' tall. He played two years of high school, was kicked out of Hinds Community College in Mississippi and was considered unfit as a defensive back when he competed at the Alabama pro day in March.
“On a scale of one through 10, I give myself a four,” Butler said last year after Patriots training camp practice. “I’m kinda tough on myself. I dropped interceptions that could have helped my team out. Yeah, I give myself a four.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was a longtime fan of Butler's. “I think he’s done a good job every day, coming out there being ready to compete,” Belichick said last year prior to training camp practice. “He’s a got a long way to go. He’s got a lot to learn.”
After the Super Bowl, quarterback Tom Brady praised his teammate's hard work.
Tom Brady on Malcolm Butler: "For a rookie to make a play like that in the Super Bowl, it's unbelievable."
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) February 2, 2015
— Boston Sports Fan (@NESportsFan1106) February 2, 2015
Tom Brady MVP? Really?! ...rookie Malcolm Butler should've won. I know it was one play but he made the biggest play in the whole game.
— Xavier (@MurdaX) February 2, 2015
Butler said last year: “You just can’t blow opportunities like this. You’ve just got to take advantage of the great things when they come. It’s been a long road to get here. Some ups, some downs, but I never gave up. I kept pushing and kept believing. I always believed that I could play in this league. It’s just confidence, faith and hard work.”
Watch highlights of Butler's skills here.