Panter's Coach: "Tops with all those guys."

Butler CC Head Coach Troy Morrell has a bevy of starters on prominent NCAA Division 1-A teams right now -- Auburn, Nebraska, Arizona State, Florida State. And he even has a prominent starting running back in the NFL. But guess who he says is as good as or better than any of them?

GoBlueWolverine spoke Tuesday evening with Troy Morrell, long-time head coach of Butler Community College in El Dorado Kanasas, about his just-named NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year, Austin Panter. Oh, and in case you didn't notice, he's Michigan's 16th verbal commitment as well!

Panter is a 6-foot-3, 225 pound middle linebacker who runs a 4.6 second 40, and had stats this season of 97 tackles, including 13 TFL's. A JC kid because he played 8-man football in tiny Kensington Kansas, Panter is also a top student, a 4.0+ guy, who graduated from junior college in 1 1/2 years.

Here is GoBlueWolverine's interview with Coach Morrell.

Tell us about Austin as a player.

"Well, I coached Rudy Johnson who is with the Bengals right now (starting RB, and a first round draft pick). I coached both of Auburn's starting cornerbacks, David Irons and Jon Wilhite. I've got starters at Nebraska, Arizona State and Florida State."

"Austin is tops with all those guys."

"He has a great size-and-speed combo (GBW note: we knew of Panter's 4.6 sec. 40, so we asked about his bench press ... Coach Morrell said over 350 pounds). His football instincts are as good as any player we've had here. He has a great nose for the ball. He has a great work ethic."

"He has tremendous potential."

"He really blossomed this past spring and summer ... he came back from the summer having worked on his speed, quickness and strength. And he had a great season this year."

And as far as Austin as a person:

"Austin is well known around here for his community service work. He really relates to kids. He's a great person. And of course he's really good in class."

"I think you guys will really like him. He's the kind of kid you would want to marry your daughter."

Note: GBW will have film on Panter soon.

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