Patriots rookie who made the Super Bowl-winning interception was working at Popeyes 4 years ago

Malcolm butlerMatthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsMalcolm Butler became a star Sunday night.

Malcolm Butler is the breakout star of the Super Bowl. The 24-year-old undrafted rookie saved the football game for the Patriots.

Butler started his football career in high school, but he only played two seasons, according to the Providence Journal. After high school, Butler went to Hinds Community College in Mississippi where he played football, but was kicked out of school for unknown reasons after playing just five games.

Butler decided to take a job at Popeyes and took summer classes at another local college. Soon he was invited back to Hinds and played there for one more year before transferring to Division II school West Alabama. There he excelled at safety, but as D-II players often do, went undrafted.

The Patriots later signed Butler after their rookie minicamp, but it almost never happened (via Peter King):

“Malcolm was part of what we like to call ‘the few, the proud, the free,’ that did a great job in our rookie minicamp. We kind of created a roster spot for him by juggling some other guys around, and so we signed him. That’s a pretty big jump from West Alabama to the NFL.”

In an interview with the Providence Journal in August, Butler credits his roster spot with the Patriots to his “confidence, faith, and hard work”:

“You just can’t blow opportunities like this. You’ve just got to take advantage of the great things when they come. It’s been a long road to get here. Some ups, some downs, but I never gave up. I kept pushing and kept believing. I always believed that I could play in this league. It’s just confidence, faith and hard work.”

All of that certainly benefitted the Patriots last night.

Butler read the play perfectly and made an incredible play.

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