Jerry Butler was an outstanding wide receiver for the Tigers in the late `70s. He will always be remembered for his catch in the closing moments of the 1977 South Carolina game, a reception that gave the Tigers a 31-27 win over the Gamecocks. Butler came to Clemson from Ware Shoals High School, where he was a four-sport letterman. Butler started every game at Clemson and caught at least one pass in every game between 1976 and 1978. Following his senior season, he was named to the All-ACC first-team as well as the AP and Sporting News first-team All-America squads. He was also the co-winner of the Frank Howard Award with Steve Fuller.
After playing at Clemson, Butler was the number five pick in the NFL draft for the Buffalo Bills. In 1979, he was named the AFC Rookie of the Year. He played in the Pro Bowl in 1980 and went on to a nine-year career with the Bills. He was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 1986, named to Clemson's Centennial team in 1996, and inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in 1997. Two years later, he received Clemson's highest athletic honor by being inducted into the Ring of Honor.