Ethan Buckles is an athletic 6-7 and 230 and can run a 4.9 40. Pretty good numbers for a kid that can project at several positions, from DE (where he will start out at), to DT (if he can gain some weight), to OT (where he can use his athleticism). But despite his apparent upside, talent, and most of all, size, it was until recently that Buckles, now a Ball State verbal commit, was even graced with an offer.
"Ball State was the first school to offer," Buckles said. "Other schools like Purdue talked to me and about they loved my size and how they loved my upside. They also talked about how I have the frame to put on weight. But I guess the level I play at made them shy away. Thankfully Coach Hoke and the Cardinals' staff saw my potential and took a chance."
Buckles plays 3 different positions for his high school team – DE, TE & long snapper – now he is looking forward to just be able to focus on one spot and excel.
"There were games last year that I never left the field," Buckles said. "It will be nice to focus my energy on one spot and make plays and not have to worry about staying out there all of the time."
Buckles first caught the attention of the Ball State staff at the Notre Dame Football camp that he attended this summer.
"I worked with a couple of their coaches," Buckles said. "And I really like them as people. That really stuck with me."
Also adding to Buckles decision was Ball State's proximity to his home in Indianapolis and "the fact that a lot of my family members attended Ball State for college."
With his commitment out of the way, now Buckles can focus on his senior year and the possibility of leading his team to another state title.
"We weren't supposed to be very good last year," Buckles said. "But we made it all the way to Semistate. This year, I think we really have a chance to win it al