Butler relishes All-Star game
Norcross WR snags game's first pass

By Corey Clark

Staff Correspondent

SAN ANTONIO - He caught the very first pass of the game for an eight-yard gain. And that was it.

Norcross star receiver Brice Butler didn't have another ball thrown his way until there were less than two minutes left in the contest - and that pass was short-hopped - but the future Southern Cal Trojan was still all smiles after his East team defeated the West 33-23 in Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome.

"It wasn't frustrating for this game," said Butler, who played in the slot in the East's spread-option offensive attack. "It's an All-American game. We're here, so it's not like I have to worry about anything."

Yep, with a commitment to USC, Butler's future is already pretty bright.

But if he would have been on the opposite sideline, where seven of his future Trojan teammates who were playing on the West squad, he probably would have had more passes thrown his way.

The West called only eight rushing plays from scrimmage and threw the ball 31 times. Meanwhile, Butler's East squad ran the ball 32 times and passed it 18.

All-American Bowl MVP Terrelle Pryor (Jeannette, Pa.) and MarQueis Gray (Indianapolis, Ind.) combined for 16 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns from the quarterback spot, as the East coaches chose to use their quarterbacks' legs more than their arms.

Only one receiver on the East team had more than one catch, and that was John Goodman (Fort Wayne, Ind.), who had two.

"That was the game plan," Butler said. "Terrelle and MarQueis are both magnificent running the ball. So that was working for us."

It didn't matter what happened in the actual game - whether he caught one pass or 11 passes - Butler said getting to spend the entire week with fellow All-Americans was an experience he'll always remember.

"It was real fun," Butler said. "It was cool to meet some of the players. I mean I had a blast with these guys and I'm really going to miss them when I go back home."