Buckner Staying at Oregon for His Senior Year

The University of Oregon announced on Wednesday that defensive end DeForest Buckner will forgo the spring NFL draft and return to the football squad next fall to finish his final year of eligibility. It had been thought Buckner would go to the NFL with his teammates, Arik Armstead and Marcus Mariota.

In a media release from the University of Oregon, DeForest Buckner cited the primary reason for his return was so that he could finish up his work for a degree.

“After sitting down with my parents and weighing all the pros and cons, I have come to the conclusion that it is best for me to return to school for my senior year,” Buckner said in the release. “I am close to finishing my degree and that is very important to me. That is the reason I came here in the first place.

“I love the University of Oregon and see big things for us next year. Plus I feel that another year of experience here and under Coach (Ron) Aiken can only help my development and better prepare me for the next level.”

Buckner will bring a streak of 23 consecutive starts into the 2015 season. He was fourth among UO defenders and tops among linemen with 81 tackles this past year, including a team-high 13 tackles for lost yardage.

In 41 career appearances, Buckner has 149 tackles with 7.5 sacks among his 19 tackles for lost yardage.

“We’re obviously very excited in regards to DeForest’s decision to return next year,” Aiken said. “He is a good student-athlete as well as an outstanding football player, and we look forward to having his leadership back for another year.”

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