June 21, 2011

Cornerback picks up third SEC offer

At one point, Ray Buchanan Jr. thought he made choose his college home this summer.

Now it appears the three-star cornerback from Suwanee (Peachtree Ridge), Ga., will wait until sometime during his senior season.

The reason: The offers are starting to roll in, and the 5-foot-10, 176-pound son of former Pro Bowl defensive back Ray Buchanan.

The latest to jump into the mix for Buchanan is Ole Miss, which extended a scholarship offer Monday.

"It was from an SEC school and I was real excited when I found out about it," Buchanan said Tuesday. "(Ole Miss coaches) told me they wanted me to come down and visit."

Buchanan said he plans to make the drive west to Oxford in a couple of weeks, likely shortly after the Independence Day holiday.

"There are a couple of guys who know me down there," Buchanan said. "(Former Ole Miss linebacker) Brandon Sanders played there. I just know it's a good campus. Everybody likes the coaches there. They're rebuilding their program. I'd like to be a big part of that.

"I'm looking for a place to start early. They're telling me they really need some cornerbacks. That really boosted my interest when they told me that."

Buchanan said Arkansas, Mississippi State, Southern Mississippi, Purdue, Illinois "and now Ole Miss" comprise his top six. Cincinnati, Louisville and Minnesota have also offered.

In the meantime, Buchanan is working to refine his skills, taking advantage of his father's 10 seasons of experience with the Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders.

"I'm really trying to work with my dad on footwork stuff," Buchanan said. "I think I've mastered that. I'm working on deep ball and press-coverage skills now.

"There's a lot of pressure from my dad playing in the NFL, but it's real good also. He can teach me the stuff he knows and he can pass it down to me."

Buchanan said his father, who played collegiately at Louisville before embarking on an NFL career that included two All-Pro selections and 47 interceptions, "is going to be a real big, important factor in my college decision. He just wants me to look into all of the schools and find the one I can call home. He helps me a lot."

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