National Rank at OT: 26
Overall State Rank: 34
Star Rating: ****
An Inside Texas conversation with Austin High head coach Rodney Vincent:
Inside Texas: What did you think of Mark's decision to enroll early at Texas and go ahead and go to college?
Rodney Vincent: For Mark, I think it's really good. There are a lot of kids who'd need to stick around, be high school seniors, get ready for college, but a kid like him can just go right into it. What Texas will find out in the spring is how mature he is.
IT: We've seen him play, but who is Mark Buchanan? Who is the Mark Buchanan off-the-field that people don't know?
Vincent: He's just got a really great personality. I know he loves to hunt. Big ol' kid who'll just give you hugs and he's just got a wonderful work ethic.
IT: What's it been like to work with Mack Brown and the Texas coaches in the recruiting process?
Vincent: I must say, they are very thorough in their evaluation. They answered all of the big questions with no problem over and over. They are very easy to deal with. I've been impressed with how Mack handles things. He treats the families of the players and the commits really well.
IT: What is the greatest strength Mark brings to a football team?
Vincent: His speed. He has a speed that's very rare in a player who's as big as he is.
IT: When did you first see this? When did he really separate himself?
Vincent: Any time in 5A when a sophomore starts, they're usually a pretty special player, but coming into his junior year is when you could really see it. He'd learned the offense and he was different. He was really something.
IT: What does he need to improve to make that jump to the D-I level?
Vincent: His upper body strength. He's going to need to keep getting stronger, but I have no doubt he's going to do that because he's so young. He's got so much upside. He's a younger kid and he'll develop even more upper body strength [Buchanan was born on 4/12/90].
IT: Do you think he's going to redshirt? As you mentioned, he still needs to develop that collegiate size.
Vincent: I think so. I think you're right. They haven't said anything specific, but it would probably be good for his development.
IT: Do you think he's going to be able to maintain that speed when he gets larger?
Vincent: Texas does a real good job with their conditioning program. The really know how to build guys so that they can handle the weight and still be quick. Mark will be fine.
IT: Mark is a native Austinite. Was he 'Texas all the way' from the beginning or did he consider a lot of schools?
Vincent: You know, Mark would listen to others, but Texas is where he wanted to be.
IT: Were you confident he was going to get that offer from Texas?
Vincent: When a lot of mail started coming and a lot of other schools started coming through, I had a sense, but then he went to the Junior Day and it happened.
IT: What was his the reaction from him and his family when it happened?
Vincent: Oh, they were excited. He's from a UT family and they were excited and were very complimenting of Coach Brown and the whole thing. It was great.
IT: Is there anything about Mark you'd like to add?
Vincent: I'll tell you, Mark is a great kid and his upside is tremendous. I've never been around a lineman with as much natural skill as he has and he is great in the open field on end arounds and reverses and things like that. He's a special athlete.
UT Signing Day Bio: Prep All-American and two-time all-district 25-5A selection ... played in the 2008 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game ... a member of Rivals top 250 national prospects ... a second-team member of Dave Campbell's Super Team ... also tabbed All-Centex as a junior and senior ... a three-year letterman and starter at left tackle ... paved the way for an offense that averaged 350 yards per game and 225 yards rushing per game over his last two seasons ... tabbed one of the state's Top 10 offensive linemen by Dave Campbell's Texas Football ... named all-district 25-5A as a senior ... helped the Austin High Maroons finish second in the district by blocking for 337 yards per game, including 221 yards rushing per game ... earned all-district 25-5A honors as a junior ... paved the way for 364 yards of total offense per game and 229 yards rushing per game as a junior ... also played on a state select lacrosse team as a freshman that traveled around the country to play in tournaments ... also participated in basketball as a freshman ... Born 4/12/90 in Austin ... full name is Robert Mark Buchanan Jr. ... a prep honor student who ranked in the top 10 percent of his class ... earned academic all-district honors three years in a row ... active in community service ... worked with programs to feed the homeless ... assisted in various park projects aroundn Austin ... enjoys hunting, fishing, music and video games ... his mother (Vicki), father (Bob) and stepmother (Britt) all graduated from UT.
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