ARIZONA FOOTBALL

Transfer wide receiver is catching on quickly

2010-10-06T00:00:00Z 2014-09-15T09:16:25Z Transfer wide receiver is catching on quicklyRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 06, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Practice has been over for 15 minutes, but Dan Buckner is still running - sprints down the Jimenez Practice Facility sideline, crossing routes over the middle and hitch-and-goes against imaginary defenders.

The Arizona Wildcats wide receiver doesn't have to put in the extra work - he won't be eligible to play until 2011.

But with no games to play in, practice is all the University of Texas transfer has.

"I've got to outwork everybody, whether it's on (the) field or in the game," he said. "I get one less chance to do that, so I have to work even harder during the week."

Already Buckner, 20, has taken on the UA's practice squad and has given coaches a glimpse of what he will do next season.

Once cleared, the 6-foot-4-inch, 208-pound Buckner is expected to serve as the Wildcats No.1 or No. 2 receiver.

Buckner was solid as a sophomore at Texas, catching 45 passes for 442 yards and four touchdowns. But the Longhorns released Buckner from his scholarship in January after he was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing and resisting arrest; he signed with the UA a few weeks later.

Coach Mike Stoops described Buckner as "a good guy and a good teammate" since coming to the UA.

"He's got big talent; he's a very smart, intelligent player," Stoops said. "He just understands football very, very well, and he's very competitive. He loves to practice, and those are the guys you know are pretty, pretty special."

The Star talked to Buckner about his transfer, work habits and, of course, practice:

You're practicing every day but have yet to play in a game. What's that been like?

A: "It's been an experience. I haven't sat out from football in a long time, but at the same time, it's been a growing experience. I'm getting better every day. Eventually, I'll get to go out there and show it on the field."

What have you been working on?

A: "Speed, strength, deep-ball skills, getting off the 'jam' (at the line of scrimmage). You can always get better. The basics are what make you a good player."

You seem to have a good time, even in practice …

A: "I'm just a fun guy. Look, you've got to practice. You can come out here with a bad attitude, and it can be long and tedious, or you can come out and have fun."

What does coach Stoops think of that?

A: "You know, sometimes Stoops gets on me. But, like Stoops says: 'If you make the plays, I can't say that much to you.'"

Do you ever think about the possibility of playing with Juron Criner next season?

A: "I feel like it can be deadly. Juron's a great player - everybody knows that - and hopefully I can help him out and help Arizona get some victories."

What's been the biggest surprise about your transfer to the UA?

A: "I never thought I'd get so close with the team; I thought I'd be an outcast or something. I have some of the closest friends I've ever had out here: Juron, Gino (Crump), (Travis) Cobb - we're best friends on and off the field."

How's Arizona different from Texas?

A: "They won a lot of games in Texas, and they've won a lot of games here. I don't know if I'm good luck - it means we're practicing hard and showing up on the field."

Lucky 'Buck'?

Dan Buckner is 29-2 in three seasons of college football - two full years played at Texas plus four games as a member of the Arizona Wildcats. "I don't know if I'm good luck," he said. "It means we're practicing hard, and it's showing up on the field." Here's a look at Buckner's season-by-season success:

Year School Record (bowl)

2008 Texas 12-1 (def. Ohio State, Fiesta)

2009 Texas 13-1 (lost to Alabama, BCS Championship)

2010 Arizona 4-0 (?)

Total record 29-2 (.935)

Up next

• Who: Oregon State at Arizona

• When: 4:07 p.m. Saturday

• TV, radio: Versus, 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 South football standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 7 2 0 0.778 10 3 0 0.769
USC 6 3 0 0.667 8 4 0 0.667
UCLA 6 3 0 0.667 9 3 0 0.750
Arizona State 6 3 0 0.667 9 3 0 0.750
Utah 5 4 0 0.556 9 4 0 0.692
Colorado 0 9 0 0.000 2 10 0 0.167

Pac-12 North football standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Oregon 8 1 0 0.889 12 1 0 0.923
Stanford 5 4 0 0.556 7 5 0 0.583
Washington 4 5 0 0.444 8 5 0 0.615
Cal 3 6 0 0.333 5 7 0 0.417
Washington State 2 7 0 0.222 3 9 0 0.250
Oregon State 2 7 0 0.222 5 7 0 0.417
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