Just days from beginning his Ohio State career when he starts classes June 16, Buchanan recently returned from his senior trip. Later this Saturday afternoon, he'll graduate from Westerville Central High School, only to get in the car and hit the road for Hershey, Pa., where he'll be taking part in the Big 33 all-star game next Saturday, at which point he'll return home to move in at OSU and start practices.
Talk about a full calendar.
"I always put my faith and my family first, and then I just go after that," Buchanan said. "I'm just taking it one day at a time. That's all you can do."
The kicker/punter will be one of four Buckeyes to take part in the Big 33 game, joining future teammates and roommates in Nathan Williams and Nic DiLillo as well as future teammate Shawntel Rowell of Cleveland Glenville.
Buchanan is no stranger to all-star games, having been selected earlier this year for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl before suffering a small injury while practicing for that event. This time, he's looking forward to putting on the pads for a competitive game for the first time in quite a while.
"I've been training the last couple of weeks, putting the pads on," he said. "It's always fun to strap it up again. It's going to be a great year to come so I'm looking forward to it. I'm really excited to get out there and strap it on and make some field goals, hit some good punts and hopefully help our team to win and have a good time."
Making the event even better for Buchanan is the chance to play with players like future roommates Williams, a defensive end out of Washington Court House, and DiLillo, a tight end from Madison. Safety Zach Domicone of Beavercreek is set to be the group's fourth roommate and was originally slated to play in Hershey, but a recent hamstring injury has forced the southwestern Ohio product out of play.
"I think it's really nice," Buchanan said of still getting to play with Williams and DiLillo. "It's going to be kind of a precursor of what's to come for Ohio State. I think anytime you can go and build relationships like that, especially in a game that has such tradition as the Big 33, I think it's exciting. Nic, Zach and Nathan, I think we've all built pretty good relationships during the recruiting process, and to be able to go out and compete on the field together before we make it to OSU I think is going to be really exciting."
Buchanan had a standout career at Westerville Central on the way to becoming a three-star Scout prospect and the No. 4 kicker in the nation in the class of 2008. The 6-0, 185-pounder made a 54-yard field goal as a junior before going 14-16 as a senior, missing only two tries from beyond 50 yards. He also averaged around 41 yards per punt to lead central Ohio.
With Buchanan entering a program with a three-year starter at punter in A.J. Trapasso and two proven field-goal kickers in Aaron Pettrey and Ryan Pretorius, he hasn't been resting on his laurels, even working a kicking session yesterday afternoon into his busy schedule.
"My dad and I just got back from kicking some balls," he said. "I'm working on a lot of my technique. I'm lifting weights and sprinting and working as hard as I can so I can be ready to go in and compete with those guys and learn from Ryan Pretorius and A.J. Trapasso and Aaron Pettrey, all of those great guys. I'm really looking forward to getting in the mix with those guys and learning from them, too."
Buchanan also played baseball for the Warhawks during his senior year, helping the squad finish above .500.
"It was a great way to end my senior year," he said. "I had a lot of fun with baseball but I've worked on my kicking and took my weightlifting seriously. I've had fun this senior year but I've really worked my tail off as well."