Natchez’s Donald Butler makes it look almost easy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Donald Butler made it look easy Friday night.

The senior Natchez High School quarterback tore the Jefferson County defense to shreds, racking up five touchdowns in the 34-0 beating.

On the surface, it would appear that it’s all easy for Butler, who earned a 3.2 GPA last year to match his 4.45 speed in the 40-yard dash.

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But Butler, a preacher’s son and lifetime resident of Natchez, has worked for his accomplishments, both on and off the field, he said.

&uot;Studying,&uot; he said. &uot;That’s pretty much all I do. It’s trig. Man, it’s hard. But I’ve got to get my books.&uot;

Those books will no doubt be instrumental in his plan to play college football on scholarship, he said.

He has already received phone calls from representatives of Southern Mississippi, and he has received letters of interest from LSU, Auburn and Alabama, he said, although he hopes to one day play for Mississippi State.

As with most any high school star, playing professional ball is not beyond the realm of possibilities. Butler said if he got to choose he would play for the beleaugered San Francisco 49ers, his favorite pro team.

&uot;You’ve got to stay loyal,&uot; he said

Although one of his sports idols is long-time 49ers receiver Jerry Rice, Butler said there is no contest as to who he wishes to idolize most.

&uot;My Dad always taught us to put Christ first,&uot; he said.

While Butler also plays soccer and runs track, football is his first love.

&uot;I’ve always played football,&uot; he said. &uot;Growing up, we had the same guys, the same team, at every grade. I’ve been playing with this team my whole life.&uot;

Butler said he hopes the rest of his games with his Natchez team go as well as last week’s did, but against football powerhouse Gulfport this week, he knows the game will be a little tougher.

&uot;Everything was open last week, from dive options to speed options — everything,&uot; he said. &uot;I think Gulfport’s going to be a little more prepared.&uot;

But so will he, Butler added.