Ryan Buchanan: Could Be a Household Name Soon

Division One coaches across America are full-steam ahead on the 2013 recruiting class. They normally focus on public schools for most of their talent, but there is one private school prospect that has caused a buzz: Ryan Buchanan. Buchanan is a three-sport star for the Jackson Prep Patriots. He had a solid junior season, leading his team to the state championship game, where they lost 17-14 to Jackson Academy.

Buchanan, after leading his team to the state title game, has many saying that he is the best quarterback in Mississippi, for the class of 2013.

I caught up with Buchanan to discuss his throwing skills, the timetable on his recruitment, and him possibly being the best quarterback in the state.

“I’m glad. I hope people do think that. My goal is to be the best I can be. This summer, I know I had to go out there and get my name out. I went to Ole Miss, Mississippi State,  and Alabama and showed them what I could do. I went to a couple of combines. Then, at the end of my senior season, I sent my highlight video out and that’s how I got the Syracuse offer,” Buchanan said.

One of the possible reasons that Buchanan is attracting so much interest is because of his diverse skill-set. He has a quick release, terrific footwork, and good mobility. Buchanan talked about how he developed that skill set.

“My coach has helped me a lot with that. He is really good about teaching me how to read defenses. Before the ball is snapped, I know where I’m going. I try to make that decision quick. As far as the footwork, I play three sports: football, basketball, and baseball. I don’t spend the whole year working on football. Of course, that is what I will play in college, but with the footwork – I think it’s just playing basketball. I’ve played three sports my whole life—it just comes natural to me,” says Buchanan.

College coaches are warming up to Buchanan, but there are skeptics who question his talent level. They question the level of competition that he faces.

“They can think what they want. I’m going to go out and play the best I can be. Some people can say that and have their view-point. I’m going to go out and play my regular game and show everyone what I can do. We are going to try to schedule as many public schools that will play us this year,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan once did think about transferring to a public school to get more exposure.

“I could have transferred to Madison Central and played there. It was a tough decision and that definitely was a thought. It worked out fine for me, here. I’ve gotten the offers from Mississippi State and Syracuse. There are other schools in the SEC that are talking about offering me,” Buchanan said.

The private school product has received the most attention from an in-state school,Mississippi State. They extended the offer this past week, which is the earliest Head Coach Dan Mullen has offered a quarterback during his tenure.

“They are the first camp I went to try to get recruited. They have been keeping up with me with the letters. There was a part in my mind to wait out to the summer camps again. They’re like ‘you’re the guy we want. You are from Mississippi. We want you here.’ Them (Mississippi State) offering me early meant a lot to me. I was kind of expecting it, not really expecting it,” said Buchanan.

The interest from Mississippi State is flattering, but Buchanan is going to take a little more time before committing to a school. He also discussed if the offensive system of the schools will determine his choice.

“I’ve talked to a lot of schools in the SEC – Arkansas and Auburn, lately. Their offensive coordinators Coach (Bobby) Petrino and Coach Scot Loeffler at Auburn. I talked to Coach Koenning about committing. We had the same viewpoint on this. He wants me to take visits to other schools and compare them to Mississippi State. He feels like I’m going to come back, and I’m going to think Mississippi State’s better. When I do commit; I want to be 100 percent where I want to go, with no second thoughts. I think I’m going to take visits in March and April to other schools—talk to offensive coordinators and see how they treat their quarterbacks at their schools,” said Buchanan.

“Yeah, for sure. Arkansas they run that spread. So, they throw 30 to 40 times a game. I’ve asked Les Koenning, the offensive coordinator at State, what the offense is going to be like if I commit there. Chris Relf was mainly a running guy and didn’t throw that well.Tylerisn’t a runner and is a passer. He says whatever your skill set is—we are going to base it off of that. We’ll throw 30 times a game if that’s what you can do. Of course that’s what I want to hear. That’s definitely something I consider.”

Buchanan does plan to get his recruiting process over before his senior season. He wants his focus on bringing a state title to Jackson Prep.

“I don’t care about stats. My goal is to win a state championship. I don’t really care what I have to do to win it. If it’s asking me to run it, more than I throw it, then that’s fine with me. I’m trying to get this recruiting process out of the way before the season starts, and focus on winning the state championship,” said Buchanan.

Jeremiah Short covers Mississippi State University football and basketball.  Follow him on Twitter, @JeremiahShort26; join his Facebook blog, Real Story Sports: J.Short’s Blog, or e-mail him, JShort@realstorypublishing.com.

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