May 8, 2008

Butler's more than a pair of hands

You can call Brice Butler some different names.

Call him explosive. Call him four-star. Call him an Army All-American.

You can even call him a possession receiver; he just won't like it.

"People are always saying that I'm a possession receiver. Possession receivers are slower guys who only get the first-down ball," Butler said. "I like to be considered a big-play kind of guy."

It's something the USC signee's opponents have had to find out firsthand.

"A lot of people don't think I'm that fast," Butler said, "unless they play against me."

Butler's reputation as possession receiver isn't a knock on his speed - he ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash. It is, likely, a product of his superior hands. ranked Butler as the 13th-best wide receiver prospect in the 2008 class, but he was on top of Rivals' list of receivers with the best hands.

The praise is flattering, but it doesn't mean the 6-foot-2 Norcross, Ga., native is just a possession receiver.

"People can call me whatever they want; I'll keep on playing," Butler said. "But, I'm more than that."

Butler's been working hard to add "strong" and "prepared" to the list of adjectives that describe him.

"I've just been working out, lifting, running and studying the playbook. I'm just trying to get prepared for when I get out there this summer," Butler said. "I've been running my routes; you can always get better running routes."

Butler's improved his bench press to 285 pounds, his squat to 360 pounds and his clean to 290 pounds.

"I've been working in the weight room to get ready for bigger safeties and corners," he said.

Butler said he's excited to get to campus to begin testing himself at a high level, something he got a taste of at the Army All-American Bowl.

"It was real fun. If I could go through and do it again, I'd for sure do it again. It was real fun being out there with those guys for a week, being away from school and from home.

"Just being able to ball with the best high school players in the world, it was fun."

Come mid-June, Butler will take his game west, and he's already excited.

"I just want to run out on to the field for the first time with my jersey on and people in the stands," he said. "I can't wait for it. I just want to do my best against the best players in the nation."

He's even followed the Trojans' quarterback battle this spring.

"I was reading all about it. Mark (Sanchez) has been out there the longest, and I expect him to be the most comfortable," Butler said. "But, all the quarterbacks are good.

"I haven't seen enough to say this one is better than this one, but I'm sure they all throw the ball better than my high school quarterback."

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