January 18, 2011

Local three-star prospect joins the Green Wave

There was nothing quick about Dante Butler's realization.

After sitting on a scholarship offer from Tulane University for nearly 8 months, the three-star prospect showed his penchant for patience. It's a trait the explosive running back didn't feature very often on the football field.

So when Butler decided on Tuesday night to commit to Tulane and stay in New Orleans for college, it was clear the decision was well thought out.

"I am about to tell my parents that I'm going to commit to Tulane and then talk to the coaches," Butler said. "There were a couple of things about Tulane that just kept coming back and were always great about it.

"The first is the education, because everyone knows what a great school it is and it's a great opportunity to get a degree from Tulane. The second thing that made a big difference to me was family. I can stay at home and be around my family and they always come first. Those were really the biggest factors."

And those things never changed.

His status as a recruit, however, did. As a senior at Brother Martin HS in New Orleans, Butler put together a remarkable season compiling 2,551 yards and 32 touchdowns on 337 carries, breaking his school's single-season record.

"I think he's the best running back in the state,'' St. Augustine Coach David Johnson told the Times Picayune. "I don't think there's anyone close to him right now.''

The word got out and Tulane's competition heated up. Offers came in from Arizona, Utah, Southern Miss and others.

But no matter what other schools got involved in the process, Tulane's high points remained steadfast.

So did the attention from Green Wave assistant and New Orleans recruiter Jason Rollins, who was the first college coach to display his confidence in Butler's abilities.

"Coach Rollins has been there since the get-go," Butler said. "He's the guy that recruited me since before the football season. We have become very close friends and we talk about all kinds of stuff on the phone.

"He played a big role in helping me make my decision and that's why Tulane is where I'm headed. I really just wanted to thank him."

Butler is the seventh 2011 commitment from New Orleans and the 11th from Louisiana to join the Green Wave.

The local flavor has the productive and coveted running back excited to bring winning ways to his hometown.

"I think it's great," Butler said. "It's all falling into place and I think with all of us, we can be something special these next couple of years."

Dante Butler senior highlights

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