Diamond in the Rough: Cameron Butler

Photo given to me by Cameron Butler.

Cameron Butler is a class of 2023 QB out of King’s Fork High School in Suffolk, Virginia. Standing at 6’0″ and weighing 175 pounds with a 2.8 GPA, the senior runs a 4.53 40 and a 4.2 shuttle. Being the starting quarterback for his entire high school career, Butler is the leader of the team and excels at it. Earlier this week, I had the great opportunity to speak with Butler.

Q: Why do you play the game?
“Because of my grandfather. He was really big in high school. He had a chance to go to the league, but he dropped out of college to support his family. He would always tell me stories about his experiences and what he went through, and ever since then I wanted to just try it. Eventually, I fell in love with the game [because of that].”

Q: Where do you see football going in your life?
“I see football as eventually getting more college interest. I could defintely see myself going pro, and if I stick with it and continue onward, they’ll continue to sleep on me.”

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned playing football?
“Overcoming adversity. Football teaches you a lot about life in general. When you lose a football game, you have to come back harder the next time. That transitions to life. If you get fired, you have to come back and eventually go harder than before, you have got to be better in order to be successful. Football also puts you through hard choices – the days you got to go run [up and down the] bleachers, the days you got to run a 100-yard sprint, you feel like you want to quit. That transitions over to life, to where you don’t want to wake up and go to work every morning. You’ve got to do it to be successful.”

Q: What does football mean to you?
“I grew up around football, so it has always been a part of my life. Every year since I was four years old, I’ve played football. It can be tiring at times, but it really means a lot to me. Just playing it, it takes everything off your mind, it takes everything that is happening in the world, it all goes away once you step on the field. I feel like it’s a great way to let everything go.”

Q: What challenges have you overcome so far in your football career?
“When I was in eigth grade, I was told when I’m in my freshman year [in high school] that I would start. But eventually, that coach resigned, and I was lost. The coach that came in I didn’t know too well, I didn’t really *get* him. I just wasn’t on the same page as the new coach. So I transferred away, and that didn’t work too well for me, so I transferred back to King’s Fork because I really love King’s Fork. King’s Fork is my home, and I have always wanted to be a part of King’s Fork. So when I came back, I started getting with the coach and meeting with him every morning before school. Eventually, I got my chance to start, and ever since then it has been pretty great for me here.”

Q: What motivates you to keep playing, especially after that experience?
“My family, because they are always so supportive. I’ve been playing [football] every year of my life, and it gets tiring. I feel like my family supporting me through every step of the way is keeping me going and keeping the love I got for football. They’ve been supporting me every step of the way, so I just want to make everybody proud.”

Q: How do you balance sports with your other responsibilities?
“Balancing football with work, school, training… it can be tough. It can be mentally exausting. You just have to find the time. [After practice] is basically the only time we have, to make money or do your schoolwork. I feel like you just have to take advantage of every opportunity you get and to get those things done.”

Q: Do you have a favorite football memory?
“When I was playing Pop Warner at (about) twelve years old, we went to Florida for the [Super Bowl equivalent of Pop Warner]. That is when I was first put in at quarterback becaus… our quarterback was not performing well, so they put me in. I made the comeback to win the game in Florida, and that was one of the best memories I have of football. It put me in a position to where I knew what position I wanted to play.”

Q: How do you stay trained and in football-shape during the offseason?
“In the summer, we work out every day from Monday through Friday, and some Saturdays too… I [also] go to the beach, I get a couple of my teammates who are available, and we get a three to four hour workout on the beach. We end up hanging out with each other and building team chemistry, so it all just works out.”

Q: How are you looking to improve your game?
“More reading the defense and seeing what covers they’re in, just by lining up. So [I’ll probably have to] watch more film, and studying coverages and defensive schemes. I feel like that’s one part of my game that I really want to improve.”

Q: On the other side, what is the strongest aspect of your game?
“I would say my ability to extend the play when the play goes bad.”

Q: What are some goals you’ve set for yourself?
“I want to have over 2,000 yards passing this season and win the state championship. One of my biggest goals is to also hit 1,000 yards rushing.”

Q: Do you try to model your game after any players, pro or collegiate?
“I grew up watching Michael Vick – that’s the reason I wear number seven. He has always been my idol. I’ve always tried to model my game after him, see what he does the best. At a young age, I would watch him and go to the yard and try to do the exact same things as he was doing.”

Q: What is your favorite part of playing quarterback?
“Being the leader of the team. Being a guy that anyone on the team can come to and ask what they’re doing. Just leading, I feel like that’s the best part of being a quarterback for me. I love being in a leadership role and helping everybody else be successful while I’m also being successful.”

Q: Do you consider football to be more physically challenging, mentally challenging, or a bit of both?
“Mentally challenging, because any size can be successful at football. You just have to have the football IQ to get there.”

Q: What is something you want your coaches to know about you, past, present, or future?
“I’m always going to come to practice, come to workouts, and come to games trying to be the best, and putting my best foot forwards into being the best, no matter if it’s through supporting your teammates, being the leader on the field that your team needs, or getting the ball down the field. I feel like every coach should know that I’m always going to put my best foot forward, no matter what role I’m in.”

You can view his highlights here.

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