The next time Brice Butler walks into the Raiders Alameda facility, he will be greeted by a face he has known since he was a teenager.
"Coach (Ken Norton Jr.), that's my guy," said Butler. "He was one of the guys that came to my house when Coach (Pete) Carroll was recruiting me. From then on, he was one of the guys that if anything goes on I could talk to him, pick his brain about what I could do better."
Butler was a highly-touted recruit in high school, ranked in the ESPN 150 as well as earning Prep Star All-American Honors his senior year before joining the Trojans in 2008 following Coach Norton's recruiting visit.
At the time, the Raiders new defensive coordinator was serving as the linebackers coach at USC under Pete Carroll, a role he served in until 2010 when he headed north to Seattle.
The connection to USC doesn't end there, as newly-hired defensive line coach Jethro Franklin was also with Butler during the 2009 season, where the team went 9-4 and ended the season ranked No. 22 in the AP Poll.
Coach Norton joined Carroll's staff in Seattle, and Butler eventually transferred to San Diego State, but the two remained friendly.
"When we played them (Seattle Seahawks) twice this year, he's one of the guys I try to run down and see," Butler said. "He's a really fun guy to be around, energetic guy, but he's about his business. I know he's going to bring that attitude to our defense."
It also hasn't escaped Butler that his new head coach, Jack Del Rio, is a former Trojan as well.
During his career at Southern California, Del Rio was a standout baseball player, as well as an All-American linebacker who was voted the MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl. He was also selected to the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
"I haven't heard anything but good things about Jack Del Rio," said Butler. "He's a USC guy himself, so that will be great."