No. 56 San Diego Chargers
|Date of birth:October 17, 1988|
|Place of birth: Sacramento, California|
|High school: Fairbanks (CA) Del Campo|
|NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 3 / Pick: 79|
|Debuted in 2011 for the San Diego Chargers|
|Roster status: Active|
Career NFL statistics as of 2013
Donald Aubrey Butler (born October 17, 1988) is an American football linebacker who currently plays for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Washington. He was considered one of the top linebacker prospects for the 2010 NFL Draft, and was selected with the 79th overall pick by the San Diego Chargers.
In four years at Washington, Butler had 239 tackles (159 solo), 26.5 TFLs (for 78 yards), three sacks (for 35 yards), five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions (for 15 yards), and seven pass deflections. At the NFL Combine, he had 35 reps benching 225. At his Pro Day, he had a 4.61 40, a 35.5 vertical, a 121.0 broad jump, a 4.28 shuttle, and a 6.93 three cone drill.
San Diego Chargers
Butler suffered a season-ending injury prior to the start of his rookie season as he tore his left Achilles tendon during a pass rush drill. He was placed on the injured reserve list on August 31. The linebacker spent all of the 2010 season rehabilitating.
However, in the 2011 season, his first in the NFL, Butler had his breakout season as he became an immediate starter on the Chargers' defense. Butler had 96 tackles playing in all 16 games, including 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception, playing alongside veteran linebacker Takeo Spikes.
In 2012, Butler was already a well-known and vocal team leader for the Chargers. Playing in only 12 games, he managed to make 77 tackles, 3 of which were sacks. He had a stellar game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 30, where he caught a tipped off ball and returned the interception for a 21-yard touchdown. Butler was named AFC Defensive Player that week.
Butler again was known as a team leader, being elected a team captain in his fourth year. Butler played 13 games, missing 3 with a groin injury, managing to make 84 tackles, half a sack, 1 interception, and a fumble recovery. In the wild card round vs the Cincinnati Bengals, Butler stripped running back Giovani Bernard from behind, which was ruled a fumble and recovered by the Chargers.
Butler studied construction management at Washington. His mom, Janet Rice, is a single parent who has worked for the Oakland (Calif.) Housing Authority for a number of years. Her career path is what spurred an interest in Donald in the business side of construction. For two years while he was in college, he interned with the Walsh Construction Co. in Tacoma, Wash.