During his senior year at Norcross, GA, Brice was one of the most coveted high school receivers recruited by college football programs—on par with receivers like A.J. Green, his South Carolina counterpart. Having the physical make-up similar to big-play NFL receivers like Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald—6’3”, 4.36 forty yard-dash—Butler imagined that one day he would be atop the draft boards and headed west to USC.
After an unheralded career at USC, which was afflicted by many factors including getting Kiffin’d, Butler took his skills and bachelor’s degree to SDSU. This change in fortune led to a combine snub. Still, he had a great pro-day and clocked in a 4.36 forty yard-dash at his pro-day. When the Oakland Raiders drafted him in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL draft, he considered it a “blessing.” According to Brice, “coming out of high school, I kind of thought I would get drafted higher, but after everything I’ve been through, just to get drafted meant just as much as if I would have been drafted higher. It was a great feeling.”
In his first year with the Raiders, Butler had a solid training camp. In the pre-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys he and Matt McGloin hooked up for two big plays. First a forty-yard catch, which was followed by and even more impressive one-handed thirty-yard catch in the end-zone. He followed the 2 catch game by leading all Raiders in catches that pre-season.
The solid pre-season earned him a roster spot on the 2013 Oakland Raiders 53 man roster. Unfortunately, he was unable to carry that success into the regular season. He ended the season with nine catches for 103-yards—none after the 6th game. Having a father who played twelve years in the NFL, Robert Butler of the Atlanta Falcons, he knew that to have a successful career, there was work to be done in the offseason.
“It’s a job, it’s not school,” said Butler, “With a job you have to come to work every day, ready to perform.” This offseason he went to work with two of the NFL’s elite receivers, Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green working on technique. “Those guys, its about footwork, being fundamentally sound, getting out of your breaks, keeping your shoulders square, keeping your pads down since we’re tall guys,” said Butler of their training.
This pre-season Brice Butler again leads Raiders receivers with eight catches and again caught an impressive game-winning catch from McGloin against the Detroit Lions. Can he have a bigger impact in the regular season than he did last year? The Raiders are deeper at receiver and it will be tough to get playing time. But, last year there were both quarterback issues and offensive line issues. With both addressed in the offseason and Butler’s sure hands, he is sure to get some play time and hopefully provide the 40-60 catch season that he is capable of producing.