Last year North Pike (Miss.) High School featured two of the top defensive end prospects for the Class of 2012. While A.J. Jefferson receives his share of pub, fellow classmate Vernon Butler is also drawing attention with his talent off the edge.
The 6-foot-4 and 235-pound Butler finished two tackles shy of 100 last year and also collected four sacks. This spring, several schools have inquired about Butler and made trips to see his talent first hand.
"We have our last week of spring ball coming up," said Butler. "Things are going good so far and I am at defensive end again. Really, my main deal is just being focused on getting off the ball quicker and getting to the backfield quicker. I want to make even more big plays this year and that starts by getting to the backfield quicker.
"So far, TCU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech have come by our school. And so did Louisiana-Lafayette and Alcorn State."
Butler added that a handful of schools have verbally offered and want to get another review of his ability at summer camps.
"Mississippi State gave me a verbal offer back in February when I talked with Coach (Dan) Mullen," said Butler. "Then Ole Miss, Memphis and Louisiana-Lafayette have also verbally offered. Those are the main schools that want to see me at camp this summer and those are the four camps I plan to go to.
"I would say that Mississippi State and Ole Miss are showing me the most interest, and then Memphis and Louisiana Tech would be next. Those four schools tell me they want me to be part of their program and contribute to their program."
And of those schools, Butler noted the program he is most interested in at this point of his recruitment.
"I would say I am favoring Mississippi State," said Butler. "I loved it when I went to their camp and campus. They have good coaches there and I have a pretty good relationship with them."