Oregon football signed four linebackers to its 2021 class, highlighted by early enrollee Keith Brown who was the No. 113 recruit in the country, and Jonathan Flowe, a four-star and younger brother of projected starter Justin Flowe.
Mario Cristobal added a solid group of linebackers to a room that has multiple All-American candidates, strengthening the position for Tim DeRuyter.
The head coach spoke highly recently of one of his freshman linebackers, and it wasn’t Brown or Flowe, the only two four-stars committed in the 2021 class. No, it was the lowest-ranked of the committed linebackers in three-star Brandon Buckner from Chandler, Ariz.
According to Jared Mack of 247Sports, Cristobal gave one of the best descriptions about a player that I’ve ever heard. He called Buckner “a rolling ball of butcher knives”.
What does that even mean? Cristobal explained it.
"“To quote one of my old coaches, he’s like a rolling ball of butcher knives, man. He just goes. Got great technique, great motor,” said Cristobal. “Obviously, his father was a great player and a great football coach. So he comes in advanced in terms of the use of his hands, his get-off, understanding offensive schemes, right?“Alignments, splits, backfield sets, quarterback indicators. Grinder of a worker. I think you saw, I don’t know if you saw him in the weight room last week, squatted 500 plus pounds. Didn’t really struggle to do so. I know he was one of the players of the year in the state of Arizona. Big things expected from him as well. We are honored to have him in the program.”"
Basically, Buckner just understands the game, has great technique, and a high motor. He plays with a chip and his strength sets him apart. He’s just a monster at linebacker with the tools and willingness to learn which will only help him see the field quicker.
It’s safe to say everyone overlooked this kid.
Buckner could join regular linebacker rotation early
Everyone kind of assumed that Brown was going to be the only freshman linebacker to see early playing time, but after hearing Cristobal speak about Buckner, I think that’s changed.
Buckner has the knowledge of the defense down and he has the right instincts for the position. He already has a college-ready body, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see him play a decent amount as a true freshman.
Whenever a coach said that he’s “honored to have him in the program” about a player, you know they’re doing something right.
Buy Buckner stock now.