Malcolm Butler, who grabbed a last-minute interception to secure his team’s 28-24 victory in Super Bowl XLIX, had a feeling that he was going to make a big play.
The New England Patriots rookie cornerback, 24, hadn’t been drafted out of West Alabama -- and beyond the Patriots, no other team expressed interest in signing him. But the Vicksburg, Mississippi, native had a hunch. Someone offered him affirmation on Twitter. A coach wrote him before the game.
Butler says he really started to believe -- in his Super Bowl fortune, in the moment, in the big play -- after a conversation with an Uber driver.
“When I really believed it is, when I called an Uber driver for my mom, my mom called me and told me, ‘The guy spoke nice of you and he said he felt like you’re going to do something fantastic tomorrow.’ I just prayed on it and I just went out and played as hard as I could, and it turned out great,” Butler told ABC News.
Butler's interception came with the Seattle Seahawks one yard away from scoring the go-ahead touchdown. Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette cut across the middle. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw the ball.
Butler had faced the play in practice in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. In practice, Butler got beat for a touchdown.
He wasn’t about to let history repeat itself.
“I got beat on the route in practice and the memorization and the preparation just helped me out, and I just jumped the route and made a play,” Butler told ABC News. “It was do-or-die time so I just had to do it.”
Butler is especially proud of the obstacles he’s overcome. He said his mother worked two jobs during his childhood to make ends meet for him and his siblings.
“You see some tough things growing up, and I just always said, ‘I didn’t want to have that life,'" he said. "I wanted to be someone. And I just wanted to make my family a better family and inspire young kids that anyone, that you can do whatever you wanted to do if you put your mind to it and you just believe and have faith.”