All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team, 2003 & 2004
ACC All-Academic football team, 2003 and 2004
Semifinalist for Jim Thorpe Award, 2003 &2004
AT TECH: Two-time all-conference free safety and two-time semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back . . . Also a two-time selection to the ACC All-Academic football team . . . Team captain and the only senior starter on Tech's highly-rated defense in 2004 . . . Selected to play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., following his senior season . . . Signed a free agenty contract with the New York Giants . . . Smart player with excellent size and athletic ability . . . Spent his first two years as a backup and special teams player before moving into the starting lineup in 2003.
Total of 204 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, seven interceptions, 10 pass breakups, four forced fumbles and two blocked field goals in his two years as a starter . . . Ranks sixth in Tech history in career tackles by a defensive back with 234.
2004: Semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back for the second straight year . . . Named first-team all-ACC for the second year in a row . . . Also named to the ACC All-Academic football team for the second straight year . . . Tech's second-leading tackler with 85 hits, along with two interceptions, 2.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal . . . Only senior only a Tech defense that ranked 12th nationally in total defense (297.9), 13th in rushing defense (104.6), 21st in pass defense and 21st in scoring defense (18.9).
Helped Tech turned in one of the best defensive performances in school and ACC history, holding Maryland to just 81 total yards in a 20-7 road victory . . . Followed with a standout effort against Duke (six tackles, forced fumble) as Tech held the Blue Devils to just 184 total yards . . . Had nine tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss in Tech's win at NC State, helping hold the Pack to 57 yards rushing . . . Blocked a field goal against Miami, the second block of his career.
Preseason first-team all-America by Phil Steele's College Football magazine, which tabbed him the nation's top free safety . . . Also earned preseason all-America recognition from Athlon Sports (third team) and Street & Smith's (third team) . . . Rated one of the nation's top five safeties by Lindy's.
2003: First-team all-ACC free safety . . . One of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back . . . Second in the ACC in interceptions with five . . . Averaged 9.2 tackles per game with six tackles for loss . . . Also had six pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one blocked kick . . . Set the Tech season record for tackles by a defensive back with 119 . . . Also named to the ACC All-Academic football team.
Named ACC Defensive Back of the Week after recording 12 tackles and two interceptions in Tech's win over Maryland . . . Made a huge play in Tech's overtime win over Vanderbilt, preserving the victory with an interception on the Commodores' first play of overtime . . . Also had 14 tackles and two pass breakups in the game . . . Had a big first half in Tech's win over Wake Forest with an interception, two forced fumbles and a blocked field goal on the final play of the half; finished with nine tackles . . . Had his first career interception, along with 13 tackles, against Brigham Young, his first start . . . Broke up two passes in Tech's win over NC State . . . Forced a fumble against Florida State.
2002: Made 19 tackles and one pass breakup as a backup in 2002, playing behind all-ACC safety Jeremy Muyres . . . Had his most productive game in the Silicon Valley Classic with a season-best six tackles with one tackle for loss against Fresno State . . . Made one tackle and a pass deflection in Tech's win at eighth-ranked NC State . . . Added four tackles against Clemson.
2001: Earned playing time as a true freshman in 2001 as a backup at free safety and on special teams . . . Made 11 tackles on the season . . . Had four tackles, a forced fumble and two pass breakups against Navy . . . Added three tackles versus the Citadel.
HIGH SCHOOL: One of the Top 50 players in Georgia according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . . . Named to Max Emfinger's Super 75 in Georgia . . . Tabbed to the Border Wars Top 100 prospects in the South and to Prep Star's All-Southeast Region team . . . Class AAAAA honorable mention all-state selection by the AJC and the Augusta Chronicle . . . First-team all-region and all-South Georgia . . . Had 69 tackles and two interceptions as a senior, following 54 tackles and four interceptions as a junior . . . Also punted for three years and averaged almost 36 yards per kick . . . Four-year letterman for coach Bob Christmas at Bainbridge High . . . Chosen for the Georgia-Florida All-Star Game . . . State champion in the triple jump as a sophomore.
PERSONAL: Full name is James Oscar Butler, Jr. . . . Parents are James and Nadine Butler . . . Born September 7, 1982 . . . Academic All-ACC honoree majoring in Building Construction . . . Received the Champs Sports Bowl Scholar-Athlete Award.
GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS 2004 P-A-T TFL Sks FC FR Int PB BK Samford* 2-1-3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 Clemson* 2-1-3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 UNC* 7-4-11 0 0 0 0 1-0 0 0 Miami* 2-9-11 0 0 0 0 0 0 (fg) 1 Maryland* 5-4-9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Duke* 4-2-6 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 Va. Tech* 2-3-5 0 0 0 0 1-8 0 0 NC State* 8-1-9 2.5-3 0 0 0 0 0 0 UConn* 6-2-8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Virginia* 8-5-13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Georgia* 4-3-7 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 Syracuse* 6-0-6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0