Diamond In The Rough: Quinton Butler

Measuring in at 6’1” and 265 lbs., Quinton Butler is a Pre-season All-Acadiana defensive lineman a part of the 2022 class at St. Martinville High School in St. Martinville, Louisiana. Being a versatile player, Butler plays defensive end and defensive tackle. Quinton is a headhunter and a ball hawker. It does not matter who has the ball and where the ball is on the field. Once the ball is snapped, he is going after it and tackling the person who possesses the ball. Not only is he aggressive, but with a 3.7 GPA, Quinton is smart on the field and in the classroom. With his work ethic and athletic ability that he is constantly improving, Quinton Butler is a defensive end you want to watch on the field this upcoming season.  

How long have you been playing football?

I actually have been playing football since the age of seven years old. I have never played flag football a day in my life. I started off and have always played tackle football. 

What do you love the most about football? 

I love the way how football brings people together. That’s one of the things I love about football – I have seen what it can do for other people. That’s another thing I love about football too. 

Right, it’s the community engagement part of football that brings people together on and off the field. Do you participate in any volunteering in your community or with your football team? 

Sometimes, the school will host this event called trash bash. We go around the city and pick up trash for people for no charge. We actually help out with yard work around the city too. 

As a defensive tackle, how would you describe your playing style on the field? 

My playing style – I think of myself as a headhunter. I have a thing for the ball. Once I see the ball snap and if the quarterback still has it in his hands, I’m going to go get it. It does not matter if the ball is ten yards down the field, I’m going to go get the ball. That is me; that is Quinton Butler. I’m a ball hawker. 

As of this year, you are transitioning from defensive tackle to defensive end. Going into your junior season, what are some goals you would like to achieve? They can be individual goals, team goals, or both. 

I actually set a goal for myself this year. I want to set the most sacks ever recorded by a defensive lineman at St. Martinville Senior High. My goal is to get around 20 sacks. Even though this pandemic is messing up a lot of things, I still feel confident knowing that I can reach that goal. 

Right and watching your film , pandemic or not, I think you can achieve this goal if you keep working towards with that mindset. Speaking of the coronavirus pandemic, what have you been doing during this to improve your athletic ability?

Staying in shape; constantly moving. Most kids, they stressed about the weight room. They have to get bigger; get stronger, but I actually focus on my technique because to me, your technique is everything along with stamina. You can stay in the weight room for as long as you can, but when it comes down to the field – yes, the weight room does play a part; however, as the game keeps going you got to have that extra umph, or drive, to keep going in the game. Personally, I think that’s what separates me and a lot of the kids in my class of 2022 and even the people that are ahead of me – stamina and technique.  

Stamina and technique – I really like that answer. It brings up this next question I want to ask you. Personally, do you consider football to be harder mentally, physically, or both? Why?

I can honestly say mentally because it’s not just what people can do to you on the field. There are people that are not playing the game as well and they will critique you. People will tell you that you’re not good enough, you messed up on this play – people are going to fuss. You will have coaches that are going to fuss at you. You might even have teammates that are going to fuss at you, but at the end of the day, you have to keep your composure. By doing that, you can show more leadership. People will see the leader in you. Another thing a wise man always told me you will never know who will be in stands. So, that’s one thing I’d always take pride in is keeping my composure, even in the heat of moments. 

I definitely agree with you on that. You mention being a leader on your team. How do you describe your leadership style?

I kind of don’t cut anyone any slack because, at the end of the day, we have our minds set on winning championships. So, if you want to be a champion, you can’t go fifty percent; you can’t go ninety percent. I’m kind of hard on my guys, but at the end of the day, they come to me and tell me that they appreciate it because I actually show love. It’s not just about straight football, football, and more football. I show all my teammates and friends real love and that’s what I actually love about football – that it can bring people together. It’s not just about the football aspect. So, if you have that chemistry, it makes the whole goal more approachable to make that championship run.

I understand where you’re coming from: you’re a part of something that’s more than you. Football is a team sport. It takes the whole team – coaches and staff included – and working together to advance towards the common goal. You’re all holding each other accountable and setting healthy boundaries so nobody gets pushed to potential point of burn out and loses sight of the goal. So, I saw on your twitter profile that you are a Pre-season All-Acadiana player. What were some key contributing factors that led to this accomplishment?

Yeah, that genuinely shocked me because looking at that list, most of the kids on the list have a lot of offers – they were 3 or 4 star players. So, for my name to end up on that list, it was truly a blessing. I am really humble for that and I was really excited. It would have to be my work ethic. The people who played a role in my life because they never gave up on me – my family. My mom, my coaches, and my friends – I try to surround myself with people who have a lot of positivity because that plays a role in your life and your goals. One of my coaches has had my back since day one and I’m very appreciative about that. One of cousins’ dad – Mendel Williams –  he has been there as well since little league. He actually helped push start my football career. Another person was Jemiah Nelson. He has been a part of the team since my freshman year. I have a lot of people. My head coach, Vincent Derouen, he’s a man of many words and I thank him for that. Also, there is the offensive coordinator, Donald Fusilier and my d-line coach, Damon Durant, that I am appreciative for as well. They are hard coaches on the field. During practice, they don’t want any type of excuses. They want straight hard work.

Okay so let’s digress from football for a couple questions – to get to know you as a person off the field. Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time? 

In my free time, I love to work out. Once I started, I could never stop. I like watching film – watching different all-time greats; legends. I love to be on the phone a lot. Just like most teens, I love to get on the phone – I love to talk on the phone. I love to eat. Being from Louisiana, we got good food and I love to eat. 

What are your favorite kind of workouts? Do you have a favorite kind or are you more of a well-rounded person? 

I’m more of a well-rounded person, but I do like to focus on weightlifting. I love weightlifting because it was one way of me feeling free. It made me feel free. 

Okay, I have to ask. What’s your favorite kind of food? What do you like to eat? 

I love hamburgers – hamburgers and fries with milkshakes.

I love it. Personally, at this point in time, where do you see yourself playing at on a collegiate level? 

I could see myself and I’m not just talking, I’m actually being truthful with myself. I could see myself playing in almost every conference. I could see myself playing in the SEC, the Sunbelt conference and the Big10, or the Pac-12. I think that way because of my work ethic. I think your work ethic, at the end of the day, will pay off along with my size and my speed. That’s why I say I can play on almost every level. 

Speaking about your work ethic, what would your teachers say about you as a student? 

My teachers would say I’m a good, quiet student. I will talk a little bit here and there, but I’m also a hard working student. Oh, and I have received student of the month multiple times as well. 

Congrats to you! Keep up that good work. Tell me more about your gameday routine. What do you like to do to hype yourself and focus in? 

Music plays a big part in what I like to do. I love music. I love it; I will jam hours before the game. Music actually gets me in the mood. I listen to a wide variety of music. Some of my friends will laugh at me because I like to listen to zydeco music sometimes. I’m very open when it comes to music. 

I love zydeco music myself; it’s great music to dance to. What do you think is your biggest asset on the field? 

I’m a big run-stopper, but I get noticed for my pass rush. I’m a big time pass rusher; I can get after the ball. Once that ball is snapped, I’m two steps up the field before the lineman even moves. 

So, I saw a special quote on twitter profile: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” Break it down for me – what does that quote mean to you?

The reason why I love that quote is because my whole life of football, I’ve always been good at playing football, but sometimes I wouldn’t get chosen. I wasn’t a certain height, or I wouldn’t be a certain size, but I could play and that’s what I love about me. That’s what my coaches love about me. Most people would down me or doubt me because I wasn’t a certain size. I’m still kind of slept on as a player, but my name is slowly starting to get noticed. For most of my football career though, I would always hear “you’re not big enough … you’re not fast enough … you’re just not tall enough.” That was actually one of my motivations when it comes to grinding so hard. I’d look at most people, including future greats and hall of famers. One of my favorite defensive tackles, and he is one of my greatest motivations, is Aaron Donald. He is the same height as me and he is the number one defensive lineman in the NFL. Ed Oliver – he came from the University of Houston. I believe he got drafted in first round, he plays defensive tackle, and he’s the same height as me. There was something unique about these players despite their sizes: they were strong and fast. That’s why they motivate me as a person and as a player. 

Embracing the role of an upperclassman player and one of the leaders on your team, what advice do you have for the younger players that aspire to play football on a serious level? 

Never give up. Always work hard because at the end of the day, your work will be noticed. It doesn’t matter what division level you end up playing on. If you put the work in, you will be noticed – just keep working and never beat down on yourself. 

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