April 06, 2016 - Aaron Wilson
Southern Nazarene linebacker Larry Butler III making strong bid for NFL, Browns, Packers interested
Southern Nazarene University linebacker Larry Butler III is making a strong bid for a spot in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers are among the NFL teams that are interested in Butler. He's expected to attend the New Orleans Saints' local prospect day. The 6-0, 236-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds, but pulled his hamstring. He had hoped for a 4.5 time. He bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times and had a 30 1/2 inch vertical leap and a 9-2 broad jump at his Pro Day workout. He worked out at the Tulsa Pro Day with 24 NFL teams attending. Butler excelled at the Division II level after being a junior college All-All-American at Eastern Arizona. He was recruited by three Southeastern Conference schools, but couldn't enroll due to the SEC three-semester rule. He was then going to enroll at New Mexico State, but Eastern Arizona didn't release his credits in time and was ruled ineligible. So, he enrolled at Southern Nazarene. The Baton Rouge, La., native was recruited by New Mexico and the University of Houston out of high school. Butler was a two-time All-American. "As a linebacker, I feel like I bring unmatched will and intensity and a high football IQ," Butler said in a telephone interview. "I have the athleticism to be a three-down linebacker at the next level and I'm a guy who's in the mode of a classic hard-nosed linebacker who will give his all for four quarters and have the same intensity in the first quarter and late in the fourth quarter. I won't give up and will be an emotional leader." Butler had 94 tackles, 6 1/2 for losses, two sacks and two interceptions last season. Butler has been projected anywhere from the middle to later rounds or a priority free agent. Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.