Written and media by Bobby Neal.
On and off the field defensive back Mike Buckhanna looks to succeed. Standing at 5’8” and 170 lbs, Buckhanna is very effective in the secondary. With only five games played, Buckhanna has 14 tackles on the season and looks to gain more. When asked what brought him to Greenville, Buckhanna expressed how God brought him to the University. He is a sophomore at GU and education is first in his book of success. Not wanting to be another statistic, Buckhanna tries to prove not only to himself but to his family and young kids around the nation, that you can be successful no matter where you come from. “If you want something bad enough you can achieve it,” he said. Being inspired by God first, Buckhanna also takes inspiration from his parents, girlfriend, brothers, and the coaching staff. They all inspire him to better a better man and athlete. Preparation before games consists of prayer and film watching. Studying Wide Receivers (WR) is of high importance to Buckhanna. “Learning routes of opponents sets me up to make a big play on the ball,” he mentioned.
Tyrann Matthieu, also known as The Honey Badger, is Buckuanna’s favorite NFL player. Buckhanna says he is like the Honey Badger because he is an undersized defensive back, but plays as if he is a bigger defender. Not only is he undersized, but he is also fearless and makes plays all over the field. Giving 100% every play is something Buckhanna loves about the Honey Badger. Starting a foundation to give back and make a difference in the lives of young kids is something Buckhanna recently was inspired to do. When asked what strives him to be a better person on and off the field, Buckhanna said, “being the best I can be in everything I do no matter if it’s being a student, football player, or just a person. I just want to be the best or at least giving my best effort in everything I do.”
Greenville University football program’s vision is clear,
Our program will be known as a premier small college football team, committed to high academic standards, committed to championship play as well as living championship lives. We will be a diverse, inclusive, respectful, and loving community of athletes passionate in applying biblical values to our athletic experience. We will be a witness to the culture that it is possible to be fierce committed football players and play the game in a way that honors Jesus Christ. We will be men who lead courageously and accept responsibility. We will choose commitment over comfort. We will enact justice for the weak. We will leave a legacy that lasts beyond our own lives.”
Building a life for athletes to put them in a position to share the wealth of God is incredible. Buckhanna looks to share every aspect of his life with others. He says, “Coming to Greenville helped me find the inspiration to really be involved in others lives no matter the situation.” For Buckhanna and many others, Panther football is more than just a program.