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Darius Butler is a cornerback for the New England Patriots, who selected him with the 41st overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Butler, who played college football at Connecticut, is listed at 5-feet, 10-inches tall and 187 pounds.
Despite not playing football until his junior year of high school, Butler was listed among the top 20 recruits in Broward County by the Miami Herald. He played quarterback at Coral Springs Charter where he rushed and threw for over 1,000 yards as senior. He was also a standout basketball player in high school, scoring over 1,000 career points.
At Connecticut, Butler redshirted the 2004 season. In 2005, his redshirt freshman season, Butler immediately stepped into the starting lineup. He started all 11 games for the Huskies that season. Butler picked off four passes as a freshman, including three in a game against Navy, a performance which earned him Big East player of the Week honors. He also returned 10 kicks for 338 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown.
As a sophomore Butler led the team with four interceptions. He started all but one game, which he missed with a hamstring injury.
As a junior, Butler was named a team captain and started every game for the Huskies. He intercepted two passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown against Duke.
Butler was once again named a captain as a senior in 2008, but his duties on the field changed slightly. Butler remained the Huskies top cornerback, but he also saw time at wide receiver where he caught nine passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. Butler missed three games during the 2008 season with a knee injury, but was able to return for Connecticut's bowl game against Buffalo.
Butler was selected in the second round (41st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Before the 2009 season, Butler signed a three-year/$3.9M contract with New England.
Butler started five times in 14 games as a rookie, finishing the 2009 season with 35 total tackles and three interceptions.
Butler will be the third member of his family to play in the NFL. He is a cousin of Ravens running back Willis McGahee and his uncle, Gene Atkins, played for the Saints and Dolphins from 1987-96.
This is the first time at least three players from Connecticut have been selected in the draft in the same year. In addition, the four highest drafted Connecticut players of the common draft era have been selected today.
Highest Drafted Players from Connecticut - Common Draft Era
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