Butler, Jackson Preparing For East-West Shrine Bowl Thursday in Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS — Two outstanding defensive leaders in defensive lineman Matthew Butler and defensive back Theo Jackson will represent Tennessee football at the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl on Thursday in Las Vegas.

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET live on NFL Network from Allegiant Stadium. Both are members of the West team roster.

Butler, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, has dazzled scouts all week as one of the most productive linemen at practices in Las Vegas. He took advantage of his super senior season under defensive line coach Rodney Garner, leading all Tennessee defensive linemen in tackles (47), while ranking fourth on the squad in tackles for loss (8.5) and third in sacks (5). He added seven quarterback hurries.

Butler, a CoSIDA Academic All-American, was tabbed one of the SEC’s top 10 defensive linemen by Pro Football Focus in rush defense on the year. He played 726 snaps in 2021, most among conference defensive linemen.

Jackson was added to the roster on Tuesday morning prior to practice. A second-team All-SEC selection as a fifth-year senior, the Nashville native enjoyed the best season of his career, racking up 78 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and one interception returned for a touchdown in 12 starts at the STAR position.

He ranked second in the SEC and tied for 14th in the FBS in pass breakups with 12, and he tied for the league lead in tackles for loss among defensive backs.

The East-West Shrine Bowl is the longest running college all-star football game in the nation. Butler and Jackson become the 51st and 52nd Vols, respectively, to represent the program in the bowl dating back to 1932. It’s the first time Tennessee has sent multiple representatives to the game since 2014.

All-Time Tennessee East-West Shrine Bowl Invitees
1932 – Gene McEver, Herman Hickman
1934 – Beattie Feathers
1946 – Bob Dobelstein
1964 – Steve DeLong
1965 – Frank Emanuel
1976 – Ron McCartney
1977 – Mickey Marvin, Andy Spiva
1979 – Robert Shaw
1980 – Craig Puki, Bill Marren
1981 – Tim Irwin, Brad White
1982 – Anthony Hancock
1983 – Mike Miller
1985 – Johnnie Jones
1986 – Eric Swanson
1988 – John Bruhin, Terry McDaniel
1990 – Kent Elmore, Tracy Hayworth
1991 – Roland Poles
1992 – Tom Myslinski
1996 – Scott Galyon, DeRon Jenkins, Jason Layman
1998 – Jonathan Brown, Robert Poole
1999 – Jeff Hall
2001 – David Leaverton
2003 – Omari Hand
2004 – Rashad Baker, Casey Clausen, Gibril Wilson
2005 – Jason Respert
2006 – Jason Hall
2007 – Jayson Swain
2008 – Jonathan Hefney
2009 – Ramon Foster
2010 – Chris Scott
2011 – Chris Walker
2012 – Tauren Poole
2014 – Zach Fulton, Rajion Neal, James Stone
2015 – Justin Coleman
2018 – Ethan Wolf
2019 – Kyle Phillips
2020 – Dominick Wood-Anderson
2022 – Matthew ButlerTheo Jackson

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