Smart, handsome and Yale-educated, Andrew Butler ’06 was asked to be something even more exceptional at the start of the 2005 season: marquee cover-corner.

“I realized the team and the coaches were going to look to me to lock down some of the better receivers in the Ivy League,” he said. “I definitely felt the pressure. In practice, when [injured receiver] Chandler Henley [’06] was healthy, we always would take the first rep together.”

Excluding a rough game at Penn in the middle of the season, he has filled the role admirably.

Butler, who hails from the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles, Calif., is now in his third year as a starter. But his first year as a Bulldog was not without the usual freshman growing pains, both on the field and in the classroom.

“The biggest adjustment was controlling myself,” Butler said. “I had no curfew. My parents weren’t there to keep me in line with my academics. I skipped a few classes and my grades started to slip.”

When Butler did gain control of himself, he started to excel on the field.

“My fondest memory was probably two years ago, winning at Princeton in double overtime,” he said. “Everybody stepped up at the right time. I forced a fumble that game. It was only my second time starting.”

His sticky pass coverage is a big reason for Yale ranking 18th in Division I-AA in pass efficiency defense (104.35). An equally able run-stopper, Butler ranks second on the team in solo tackles (40).

Before he begins a career in finance or perhaps non-profit work, Butler hopes to end Yale’s losing streak against Harvard.

“My dream scenario? We definitely win,” he said. “We haven’t had a defensive touchdown this year. It’d be amazing to have one in the Harvard-Yale game.”