GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) – Basketball is not Matthew Butler’s best sport, but still.
“It’s a fun sport,” Butler admitted. “It’s a child’s game really and I’m enjoying it on a high level, so why not.”
At 6 feet 4 inches tall and 260 pounds, football as you might imagine is Butler’s best sport.
But instead of specializing, the Garner High School defensive end stays active, making time for basketball as well as track and field. Old school basketball coaches like the Trojans Eddie Gray say playing multiple sports helps the athlete.
“I’m a big believer in kids playing as many sports as they can,” said Gray. “I talk to a lot of college coaches and they believe it keeps the student-athlete competitive throughout the school year.”
N.C. State head football coach Dave Doeren told Gray he likes multi-sport athletes. And in fact, the Wolfpack gave Butler his first football offer.
Duke, UNC, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Penn State followed suit.
“It’s going to be hard to make a decision,” lamented Butler. “I’ve built up a relationship with each and every one of those coaches.”
The coach that does reel in Butler will be getting a good one. He’s rated the Tar Heel state’s 13th best player in the 2017 class and rising fast.
Nationwide he’s considered a three-star prospect and is the 17th best strongside defensive end. With a good senior season those numbers are sure to improve.
“You know I’m trying to make the most of this opportunity to play football on the highest level and then pursue my dreams of maybe being in the NFL,” said Butler.
But for now his focus is on basketball. And even though he’s not a star on the hardwood like he is on the gridiron, Butler works to make his mark at his “secondary” sport.
“You never know where your classmates are going to end up,” stated Gray. “I said we might be seeing Matt in the NFL. You never know so you better be friendly with him.”
And Butler has met a lot of friends while playing three sports.