Ashawn Butler from two years ago would hardly recognize the man he’s become today.
When he came into Wayne State’s football program as a sophomore, he had a lot to work on – and not just on the field. He said he was too selfish, not focused on grades and just concerned about boosting his stats.
Now, as a senior defensive end, Butler has grown to not just be a strong criminal justice student, but one of four captains on the football team.
“I’m a guy that’s entirely committed to the team – I’m all in,” Butler said. “I really do consider all my teammates my brothers. And when times get hard, I want to be the guy they look to.”
Looking back, Butler is thankful that his mom, Carolyn, and Warriors coaching staff helped mold him into the go-to leader he is today. In return, Wayne State is thankful to have him on the team as a part of the defensive line of the young Warriors that are 2-3 overall.
The Warriors opened up the season with two close games, losing the first to Michigan Tech 20-15 and winning their home opener against Truman State in 21-20 fashion. The postgame celebration with the fans is something Butler will never forget as a captain.
“When you get that win, and then you get to stand up and sing the fight song with the whole school, that’s an amazing feeling,” Butler said. “I’ve seen it done before, but once you get up there it’s the best feeling in the world.”
Moving forward with the 2-3 record, Butler wants to continue to be the guy the younger players look to in tough times. That guidance couldn’t come at a better time either as Wayne State can get to .500 on Saturday when they welcome in Grand Valley State for a homecoming game under the lights.
If there’s a few pieces of advice Butler can pass down from experience, the first one is to play the game with no regrets.
The other is to always remember where you came from, something Butler will always do.
“I’m just thankful to be part of a team, and I’m thankful Wayne State gave me an opportunity to be part of their team,” Butler said. “And I’m also thankful I came from Port Huron. I’m a diehard Big Red. I’ll never stop going to those games.”