(PHOENIX) — Rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler – who intercepted a pass to cement the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory – was working at Popeyes to make ends meet just a few years earlier.
Popeyes manager Shennelle Parker said Butler, now 24, started working as a cashier at the Popeyes in his Mississippi hometown in 2008. Eventually, she said, he moved his way up to batter fry.
Butler was on time and a “hard, dedicated worker,” Parker said.
The overnight NFL star came into the Popeyes to visit about a month ago, Parker said.
“I’m excited and I never thought I would work with someone that could play for the Super Bowl,” she said. “We’re looking forward for him to come home!”
In last night’s game, Butler’s interception came when the Seattle Seahawks were just one yard away from scoring the go-ahead touchdown. Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette cut across the middle and quarterback Russell Wilson threw the ball.
“I just jumped the route and made a play,” Butler told ABC News. “It was do-or-die time so I just had to do it.”
Although the last-minute interception has thrust Butler into the spotlight, the rookie hadn’t been drafted out of West Alabama and no other team aside from the Patriots expressed interest in signing him.
Butler is especially proud of the obstacles he’s overcome. He said his mother worked two jobs during his childhood to make ends meet for him and his siblings.
“You see some tough things growing up, and I just always said, ‘I didn’t want to have that life,'” he said. “I wanted to be someone. And I just wanted to make my family a better family and inspire young kids that anyone, that you can do whatever you wanted to do if you put your mind to it and you just believe and have faith.”
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