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Vicksburg native Butler named to GSC’s all-decade team

Malcolm Butler has added yet another accolade to a lengthy list.

The former Vicksburg High and West Alabama star was named to the Gulf South Conference’s Team of the Decade for the 2010s, which was released on Wednesday.

Butler played cornerback at West Alabama in 2012 and 2013, before signing with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent.

The Vicksburg native helped the Patriots win two Super Bowls — including Super Bowl XLIX against Seattle, when he made a game-clinching interception in the final minute — and is now heading into his third season with the Tennessee Titans.

In six NFL seasons Butler has played in 84 games and has 13 career interceptions.

Butler was elected to the Gulf South Conference Hall of Fame earlier this year, as well as the D2Football.com Division II All-Decade team. He was a first-team selection on the GSC’s Team of the Decade.

Butler played his final two seasons of college football at West Alabama, after two at Hinds Community College. He broke up 18 passes and intercepted two as a senior in 2013 on the way to earning All-Gulf South Conference and Division II All-America honors. He had seven career interceptions at West Alabama, along with 94 total tackles.

Among the other selections for the GSC’s Team of the Decade were eight players from Delta State and four from Mississippi College.

From Delta State, offensive guard Michael Gibbs was selected to the first team. He started in 21 games in 2013 and 2014, and was a first-team All-GSC pick in 2014.

Wide receiver Chance Dennis, linebacker Rory Island, defensive back Dominique Davenport and punter Cody Mills all earned second-team honors on the Team of the Decade. Quarterback Micah Davis, defensive back Junior Faulk and running back Chris Robinson were honorable mention picks.

From Mississippi Colleege, Cole Rotenberry was selected to the first team as a special teams utility player. He was a first-team All-GSC pick in 2019 in the same role, after leading the league in kickoff return average, at 28.5 yards per return.

Rotenberry also led Mississippi college in receiving in 2018 and 2019, with a total of 33 receptions for 664 yards and six touchdowns.

Brothers Derric Hawthorn and Detric Hawthorn were second-team selections on the all-decade team — Derric as a defensive back and Detric as an all-purpose back on offense — and wide receiver Marcel Newson was on the honorable mention list.

The GSC’s Offensive Player of the Decade was Valdosta State quarterback Rogan Wells. He was a two-time GSC Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019, and had a 28-3 record as Valdosta State’s starting quarterback. He led the Blazers to the 2018 Division II national championship.

The Defensive Player of the Decade was North Alabama linebacker Tavarius Wilson. He was the GSC and Division II national Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

West Florida’s Pete Shinnick was the league’s Coach of the Decade. The program was started in 2016, and Shinnick led the Argonauts to the NCAA Division II national championship game in 2017. They lost to Texas A&M-Commerce that season, but beat Minnesota State 48-40 to win the school’s first national title in 2019.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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