Texas athlete Tariq Buchanan paid his first visit to the state of Utah on an unofficial visit to BYU. He was blown away by the beauty of the mountains, the peaceful community, and the friendly and warm people found in the community. Simply put, Buchanan found more than what he was expecting.
“This is a great campus and I love the academics found here at BYU and how the campus has such a friendly atmosphere,” Buchanan said. “I also love how the players and the coaches are like one big happy family here. It’s so beautiful up here and peaceful. The environment around here is really great.”
While taking pictures in LaVell Edwards Stadium, Buchanan felt a sudden urge deep inside him. Overcome by his experience at BYU, he suddenly blurted out a few words that caught the attention of the coaches accompanying him.
“Well, I was on campus and I got to the stadium and was taking pictures when I just blurted out, ‘I’m committing to BYU,’” said Buchanan with a chuckle. “I just blurted it out and was like, ‘I’m committing to BYU’ and kind of said it out loud.”
Buchanan began to laugh when recalling how his emotions got him so wrapped up in his experience that he lost awareness of his surroundings. He blurted out how he felt. The funny thing is, when his focus came back, he realized the coaches that stood nearby heard him.
“I just blurted it out and Coach Detmer and Coach Gilford and other coaches were there and heard me, “Buchanan said. “They were like, ‘What? What did you say?’ I just looked at them and said, ‘I’m committing to BYU.’ They were all excited!
“Everyone was really excited. I let them know that I was committing to play football at BYU. I’m a Cougar and feel this is a great opportunity for me. I’m really excited!”
To understand how Buchanan got to the point of committing to BYU, a journey back to earlier this spring when Ty Detmer paid him a visit must be told.
“BYU has been recruiting me since spring,” Buchanan said. “They offered me in May. Coach Detmer was the one that offered me. Coach Detmer is a talented coach and was the one that recruited me out of Texas. One day he came out to Elgin and I was running some of my routes.
“When I play wide receiver my job is to spread defenses out. If I go deep I’ll take someone with me and, if not, I’m wide open downfield deep,” Buchanan said. “I use my speed to attack defense that causes defenders to try and cover me, and that also helps my teammates get open and make plays.
“As far as defense goes, I usually guard the best player on the other team,” Buchanan said. “I try to lock down one side of the field to help our team have a better chance of making plays.
In possession of both size and speed, Buchanan caught the attention of Coach Detmer who was visiting Elgin High School, where Buchanan plays.
“I’m 6-1, 175-pounds and I run a 4.45 forty,” said Buchanan. “I’ve ran that forty time multiple times at various camps and at my school, so I’m really fast on the field and know how to run. I play both cornerback and wide receiver at my high school.
“Coach Detmer came up to me and said he liked me. The next thing I know I have a BYU scholarship. I love Coach Detmer and he’s a great man. I love being around him and think it’s an honor to be around him because he was the Heisman Trophy winner. I think it’s an honor to be around him.”
As a two-way player for Elgin the question is, “Where does BYU want Buchanan to play at the next level?”
“Well, some said corner and some said receiver, so I don’t know where I’ll play at yet,” said Buchanan with a laugh. “I’d like to play defense and play cornerback. I think it would be a good fit for me to play on the defensive side of the ball. I think I could make a better contribution to the team as a defensive player.”
The sound of that might be a bit of a blow to the ears of Coach Detmer who evaluated, recruited, and then got Tariq to blurt out his commitment.
“Yeah, I’m thinking he might want me to play offense,” said Buchanan still laughing. “I can play offense though, but it really depends on where they want me to play.”
As a member of the 2017 class, Buchanan decided to fly out to BYU for an unofficial visit to take a better look at the school. When he arrived in Provo, he was hooked from the start.
“When I got the offer from BYU, I thought it was a great opportunity for me and wanted to know more about the school,” said Buchanan. “When I came out here I saw how it was. It’s a really great family atmosphere out here and the coaches are great. It made me feel like I was at home. What I also like about BYU is how aggressive they would be to keep me on track with my degree. I’ve been on other campuses back in Texas and I just felt BYU’s campus was different.”
While on campus the speedy athlete out of Austin-area also had a chance to meet BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. Coach Sitake spoke to him about the benefits BYU has to offer and how the university takes care of the players that come through his program.
“Coach Sitake is really cool,” said Buchanan. “He gave me a life lesson about how BYU wants me to be more than just a college for me. They want to provide job offers and said one of their main focuses is to actually help me succeed in life.
“I just want to be here and felt this was the best place for me. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to commit to BYU. I’m enjoying my time out here and can’t wait to play in that stadium.”