Tennessee Vols fifth-year defensive lineman Matthew Butler didn’t have to return to Knoxville for his extra year of eligibility.

Butler, who played under Butch Jones and Jeremy Pruitt, decided to return to UT for a final season to take care of some unfinished business, a decision he announced via Twitter in early January.

That video alone should’ve made Butler a fan favorite.

And if that didn’t do it for fans, then his comments this week likely did.

On Tuesday, Butler was asked by reporters how he felt about being named the second-highest graded interior defensive lineman by Pro Football Focus this season (among players in Power 5 conferences).

Butler didn’t seem to care, noting that it meant someone was outplaying him. And then adding that Tennessee still lost a game that he felt should’ve been a win.

Tennessee Vols

What an amazing response by Butler. This type of attitude from a senior is what a winning culture is all about.

One of the big criticisms of the Vols under Pruitt was that players didn’t care enough about winning.

That’s visibly changing under Heupel.

If Tennessee gets this thing turned around, Butler will be a big reason why. His leadership is helping transform the environment in Knoxville. And fans should love him for that.

Featured image via Knoxville News Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK