Cheyenne High School linebacker D’Angelo Butler thought he would have time to collect his thoughts after signing with South Dakota in mid-February.
He thought the wooing was over, but then Boise State came calling, offering him a scholarship.
Butler turned down the Broncos, though, sticking with the Coyotes and his chance to play immediately.
“It’s nice to have it all done,” Butler said after a deep sigh. “It was a loooong train ride. Long and stressful. And after signing, Boise State called and wanted to offer. But I like South Dakota, and I’m comfortable here.”
In the end, playing time was all that mattered for the Class 4A Sunset Division Defensive Player of the Year, who finished the season with 21 sacks.
At a bigger program such as Boise State, Butler probably would have struggled to see much playing time. With South Dakota, Butler said he would have a good chance of seeing the field early.
“That really determined everything,” Butler said. “Who wants to sit the bench? I’ve always played; I’ve always started.”
With just a few months of his high school life remaining, Butler conceded that the move from the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas to the pastures and mom-and-pop shops of Vermillion, S.D., will be a difficult one.
“It’s not going to be an easy transition for me,” Butler said. “But reality is going to set in no matter where you go. I’m going to be homesick for a long time. It’s a very small city.
“But South Dakota is a very big program in that city.”
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“That’s why we do it — to have kids have the opportunity to play at the next level,” Trailblazers coach Sam Knapp said. “But it’s the kids’ doing. They work hard; they deserve everything they get.”
Also signing were Green Valley defensive lineman Cody Aughney with Bryant University (Rhode Island) and Centennial girls soccer player Riley Bassett with Southern Utah.
Contact reporter Jon Gold at email@example.com or (702) 380-4587.