LOS ANGELES — The Pro Football Hall of Fame ended several long waits and voted linebacker Sam Mills, defensive back LeRoy Butler (Green Bay), offensive lineman Tony Boselli (Jacksonville), and defensive linemen Bryant Young and Richard Seymour (New England, Oakland) into the Hall.
Three others who also have endured long waits were voted in by the panel with former Raiders speedster Cliff Branch getting in as the senior candidate, Super Bowl winner Dick Vermeil in the coach category and longtime head of officiating Art McNally as a contributor.
According to FSU athletics, Butler was a three-year letterman at Florida State, earning Consensus All-America honors at cornerback in 1989, before a 12-year NFL career with the Green Bay Packers. The Jacksonville native appeared in 32 games at FSU and recorded 194 tackles, including 3.0 for loss with 1.0 sack, nine interceptions, 14 pass breakups and three forced fumbles. In 1988, he was responsible for the “Puntrooskie” at No. 3 Clemson, gaining 78 yards on a fake punt that set up the Seminoles for a game-winning field goal in the 24-21 victory.
His 109 interception return yards at Syracuse in 1989 still stands as FSU’s single-game record, and his seven interceptions that season are tied for fifth on the program’s single-season list. After his Florida State career, Butler was selected by the Packers in the second round of the 1990 NFL Draft.
He is credited with inventing the Lambeau Leap, a tradition that has endured when Packers players leap into the stands at Lambeau Field in Green Bay to celebrate a touchdown. In 1993, against the Los Angeles Raiders, Butler forced a fumble that was recovered by Reggie White and lateraled back to Butler, who returned the fumble 25 yards for a touchdown and leaped into the stands to celebrate.
Butler played in 181 professional games with 165 starts and was credited with 670 tackles, including 22.0 for loss with 20.5 sacks, 38 interceptions, 92 pass breakups, 13 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries. He was the first player in NFL history with 20 sacks and 20 interceptions. Butler was a four-time first-team All-Pro selection and played in two Super Bowls, helping Green Bay win Super Bowl XXXI over the New England Patriots and returning the next year for Super Bowl XXXII against the Denver Broncos.
He was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 2007. He also was a first-team All-1990s Team selection by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Butler is the fifth Pro Football Hall of Fame selection from Florida State, tied for the 11th-highest total among all colleges nationally. He joins wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff in 1988, cornerback Deion Sanders in 2011 and linebacker Derrick Brooks and offensive tackle Walter Jones in 2014.