Fayetteville, Ark. – Good footwork, turns hips, quick in space, those phrases may not sound ideal when speaking well about others but for football players those key terms are compliments and so goes the scouting report on cornerback Ray Buchanan Jr.
Buchanan, 5’10”, 175 pounds, comes to Arkansas with an opportunity to play early, if ready, among a secondary full of underclassmen. SEC teams run plenty of multiple wide receiver sets making depth at corner on any conference team a must.
The Razorbacks return two starting corners from last year’s 11-2 squad (senior Darius Winston and true sophomore Tevin Mitchell) that allowed an average of 195 passing yards per game. The two-deep chart lists redshirt freshmen Kelvin Fisher Jr. and Davyon McKinney as backups entering fall practices.
Arkansas has shown the willingness to play and start freshman at key positions as needed. Buchanan’s opportunities are what he will make of them with new defensive coordinator Paul Haynes at the helm.
In 2011 Arkansas limited or allowed, however one may choose to read the stats, 195 passing yards per game placing the Hogs passing defense 25th best in Division-I. A closer look at allowing 195 passing yards per game in the SEC ranks the Razorbacks 10th best in the conference, not where the Arkansas coaching staff wanted to be at season’s end.
Different scouts have different projections for the Georgia Peachtree Ridge High School product. Buchanan was ranked has high as the 48th best cornerback in the nation by ESPN and as low as No. 113 by Scout.com. To show the disparity in online recruiting services Rivals.com ranked Buchanan No. 59 overall at his position.
Regardless of how scouts view him Buchanan’s 4.47 speed in the forty-yard dash places him among the elite players at his position. Perhaps equally as important is his bloodline. Ray Jr. is the child of Ray Buchanan Sr., an 11-year vet of the NFL for the Colts, Falcons, and Raiders (1993-2004) and a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
Inside the Numbers
Buchanan committed to the Hogs on August 20, 2011 after receiving offers from Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota, Maryland, and Mississippi State. He committed to Arkansas over Mississippi in large part because the Hogs were the first team to offer him.
Ray was one of six defensive backs picked to play in the International Bowl held in Austin, Texas on February 1.
Buchanan and UCLA wide receiver recruit Ahmad Harris battled on the practice field for Peachtree Ridge during their prep careers.
Arkansas Razorback Recruits 2012
OG Cordale Boyd, 3-star, 6’3”, 290 pounds, Memphis, TN
OG Jeremy Ward, 3-star, 6’4”, 275 pounds, Pottsville, AR
WR D’Arthur Cowan, 3-star, 6’1’, 175 pounds, Olive Branch, MS
WR Keon Hatcher, 4-star, 6’1”, 195 pounds, Owasso, OK
WR Eric Hawkins, 3-star, 6’5”, 220, Longview, TX
WR #Demetrius Wilson, 3-star, 6’2”, 170 pounds, Glendale, AZ
WR McKale McKay, 3-star, 6’6”, 192 pounds, Louisville, KY
RB Nathan Holmes, 3-star, 6’1”, 180 pounds, Port Arthur, TX
RB Donovan Roberts, 3-star, 6’0”, 200 pounds, Norman, OK
RB Jonathan Williams, 4-star, 5’11”, 205 pounds, Allen, TX
TE/DE Jeremy Sprinkle, 3-star, 6’6”, 215, White Hall, AR
TE *Demetrius Dean, 3-star, 6’3”, 250 pounds, Fayetteville, AR
CB Ray Buchanan Jr., 3-star, 5’10”, 170 pounds, Suwanee, GA
CB Jared Collins, 3-star, 5’11”, 170 pounds, Tulsa, OK
FS Will Hines, 3-star, 6’1”, 175 pounds, Waco, TX
SS Defonta Lowe, 3-star, 6’2”, 180 pounds, Bearden, AR
LB A.J. Turner, 3-star, 6’3”, 200 pounds, Lepanto, AR
LB Vin Ascolese, 3-star, 6’2”, 215 pounds, New Bergen, NJ
LB Otha Peters, 4-star, 6’1”, 220 pounds, Covington, LA
DE Brandon Lewis, 3-star, 6’5”, 220 pounds, Memphis, TN
DE JaMichael Winston, 3-star, 6’6”, 230 pounds, Prichard, AL
DE Darius Philon, 3-star, 6’1”, 282 pounds, Prichard, AL
DE Deatrich Wise Jr., 4-star, 6’5”, 220 pounds, Carrolton, TX
DE Taiwan Johnson, 3-star, 6’3”, 240 pounds, Manvel, TX
DE *#Austin Flynn, 3-star, 6’4”, 250 pounds, Los Angeles Harbor CC
*Early enrollee at University of Arkansas
# Denotes junior college player
Position by position breakdown of Arkansas 2012 verbal commitments:
Offensive line: two
Running backs: three
Wide receivers: five
Tight ends: two
Defensive line: six