Washington State’s Deone Bucannon: For the Love of the Game

The 2014 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching. There are many teams that are in need of help at the safety position. A lot of attention is being given to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from Alabama and Calvin Pryor from Louisville because both of them are very good players. While a lot of people are focusing on them, many NFL teams are taking a close look at Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. He has already been on a few visits with teams and has plenty more scheduled. We at Pro Player Insiders got a chance to sit down with the hard hitting safety and came away very impressed.

One thing that shows right away when talking to Bucannon is that he is built from something. It is easy to see why teams like him even more after interviews. He is a very respectful young man that is well spoken and puts thought into his comments rather than just providing meaningless banter. He credits this to his upbringing.

“My parents played a huge part of my life. They were both in the military. They were big on trust, family, support and honesty. My Dad is big on respect, being a man of your word and treating others the way that you want to be treated. Everything that I am really just goes all to my parents.”

There is a big push towards adding quality guys to the locker room after some of the recent mishaps in the NFL. Teams want leaders. Playing safety is something that puts Bucannon’s leadership quality to the forefront.

“In college, I was the one back there having to make all of the checks. I had to know the defense, know what the corners and linebackers where going to do. I am a lead by example kind of guy. First and foremost I want to earn the trust of my coaches and teammates before I go barking out orders. I let my play on the field show them who I am and that I know what I am doing. I want to earn the right to say something. You have to do that before you can be the safety on a defense. I have to know what to do when formations and things like that change and know that before everyone else. It’s a big thing for me to be there for my teammates.”

His experience at the combine was a positive one. When I asked him about the combine he laughed and immediately said what he was looking to make clear. “I feel it went well. Their job is to figure out who is not only telling the truth but really about it. I wanted to make it a point that what I said was all me. Everyone says that they want to work hard but when some get there to training camp it’s a different story.”

Bucannon excelled both in meetings and on the field. Mike Mayock, one of the top draft analysts actually boosted Bucannon in his rankings after watching him workout at the combine. His results were favorable when compared to the other top safeties in this draft class. At 6-1 211 pounds, he ran a 4.49 in the forty yard dash. He also posted 19 reps on the bench.

The best part of talking to Bucannon is when he talks about his love for the game. “It’s something that can’t really be explained. It’s in my heart. I was born with this love for the game. When I watched it as a little kid, I always told my mom and dad that’s what I want to do. I was really small, ever since then I told my dad that I wanted to play. It’s a privilege and blessing that I get to play this great game.”

His love for the game showed when he as a first team All American still played special teams. He was the punter’s protector on punt team. “I am willing to play anything. If the coach tells me to be the holder, that’s what I am going to do. I am not the guy to complain about having to play anything.”

He is a safety that hits like a linebacker. Bucannon is a tone setting safety. At the same time, he can do well in coverage whether it be dropping down in the box to cover a receiver or dropping back in coverage with single high duties. Many don’t realize that he has registered 15 interceptions in a conference against quarterbacks that include Andrew Luck, Marcus Marriota , Keith Price and more. He also posted back to back 100+ tackle seasons.

There are many things to like about Deone Bucannon as a football player. In our book, he passes all of the tests to make it in the NFL  and you have to admire not only his athletic abilities but his pure love of the game.

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