Former Vance standout prepares for NFL Draft

Jarrett Brown
3 min readFeb 17, 2021


Anthony Butler, a Charlotte native and former standout for the Vance Cougars, is training in Florida in preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft.

From 2013 until 2015, Butler was a star linebacker and athlete at Vance, which is now known as Julius L. Chambers High. He was twice named the MVP of his team and was also named to the MECKA 4-A All-Conference team twice.

Though recruited by several good programs out of high school, Butler decided to stay close to home and play for the Charlotte 49ers. After redshirting his freshman year at Charlotte, Butler became a solid player for the 49ers under Coach Brad Lambert. He played in 36 games for the 49ers and started 16 of them. His stats included 146 tackles (61 solo tackles), 10.5 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks.

Two games into the 2019 season, Butler decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal. Before he left Charlotte in December 2019, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Several colleges were interested in having Butler play for them, but he ultimately chose Liberty University in Lynchburg, V.A.

“My time at Charlotte was good,” Butler said. “I learned a lot on the football field and in the classroom. I had great teammates and coaches who helped me. I had built a lot of character and earned my degree.”

Butler eagerly joined a Liberty Flames team that was coming off a winning season and had a winning attitude.

“When I took a visit to Liberty, I watched the team win a game,” Butler said. “They weren’t satisfied with just winning; they were disappointed that they didn’t win by more. That made me want to commit right then and there.”

Butler stepped into a leadership role right away and made a positive impact on a team that was coming off an 8-win season. The Flames won 10 games in 2020 and beat Coastal Carolina in the Cure Bowl. They finished the season ranked 17th in the country.

During his senior season at Liberty, Butler was one of the key players on a defense full of ballhawks. More importantly, he was looked up to by his teammates and respected by his coaches because of his work ethic and maturity. He expects to graduate with a Master’s degree in Sports Administration in December 2021.

Following his memorable senior season at Liberty, Butler declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. He has been training with current NFL players in Tampa, F.L. at Athlete Innovations under former Cincinnati Bengals strength coach, Cliff Brown.

Butler believes he has what it takes to get to the NFL and he is doing everything he can to make it happen.

“I’ve always worked hard, but this is an opportunity to work harder,” Butler said. “I’m trying to get where they are, but I’m definitely not too far off.”