“I kind of already knew that I was going to commit that weekend, but between Ross and the dudes who were already committed, like Johnny Capra and Ryan Gibson, I’ve been talking to them a little bit, and then they got that defensive end to commit, who flipped from Washington State (DeVante Wilson), they were all telling me we could do something special,” says Buchanan.
Buchanan thought that he might commit on Saturday night, but wanted to make sure a few choice people knew, first, starting with his parents, and his sister Kayla.
“She always pushes me to be the best in everything,” Buchanan says of his sister. “She’s one of the more inspirational people in my life. When my parents were busy, she’d be the one to take care of me, when I was a little kid. She’d look after me when my parents weren’t around, she’d cook me breakfast. She picked me up from school, as we got older.”
So, what did Kayla, who finished her Masters at Mercer, have to say?
“She said, ‘OK, just make sure that you’re fine with the decision,’” says Buchanan. “She wanted to make sure I’m cool with it, because she’s cool with wherever I go.”
And Buchanan is more than cool with his decision.
“Just saying, ‘I graduated from Berkeley,’ you’re going to have one of the most prestigious degrees in the room,” says Buchanan. “The people that you go to class with, they’re going to change the world. It’s one of the most distinguished institutions in the whole entire world. The kids that were already committed there, that I was on the trip with, they were really cool people. I feel like I can bond with those guys, and we can win a Pac-12 championship.”
While he may have Bowers’s back for the next four years, it was encouraging for Buchanan to see what his future quarterback had to say about him.
“That made me feel really good,” says Buchanan. “Ross is a great player, and he’s had an amazing high school career, just won a state title, and he’s one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the nation. That was really cool.”
Meeting Capra on his unofficial Big Game visit to Berkeley helped to build a strong base upon which his commitment wound up resting.
“He said that he had offers from the whole Pac-12, and he chose Cal for the academics, and for the people,” says Buchanan. “The Cal coaching staff, they’re trying to get you to succeed not only in football, but in life.”
Though he hasn’t met his other Georgia-native Cal commit – defensive end Russell Ude -- the three-star defender’s name is big in the Peach State.
Beyond the academics, the 3.3-GPA student was taken with the simple things on his official visit this past weekend.
“That view. I’d seen it before, but it’s just so amazing, when you go all the way to the top of California Memorial Stadium, you can see the entire city of Berkeley, and it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your whole life,” says Buchanan.
He also got closer with several of the other Georgia natives on the official visit, including cornerback Chris Williamson and Daniel Imatorbhebhe, who, a source said, were impressed enough with the visit that they went home with the intent of speaking with their parents before making any decisions.
“I’ve heard of the guys – Daniel Imatorbhebhe, Chris Williamson – so it was really cool to meet them,” says Buchanan. “I’m not going to push the other guys, or hype them, because I don’t like it when people do that to me, but I’m going to shoot them a couple texts: ‘Think about this,’ just get them to think about things during the process.”