‘True to the soil’: Brentson Buckner pays a visit to Carver

Buckner, who graduated from Carver in 1989, comes back to Columbus to pour what he learned back into these young men.
Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 7:01 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Carver High School has a history of football players making it to the highest level. In recent years, names such as Chris Hubbard and Isaiah Crowell have played in the NFL. Before them, Brentson Buckner walked the same streets.

Buckner, who graduated from Carver in 1989, returns to Columbus to pour what he learned into these young men.

“It’s always good to come back,” Buckner said. “Show them somebody who sat where they sat, who lived where they live, who walked the streets where they walked.”

After graduating from Carver, Buckner went to Clemson University, where he started for three years. At Clemson, the defensive lineman won the 1991 ACC Championship and was the defensive MVP of the Peach Bowl in 1993-94.

Buckner was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and enjoyed 11 years in the league. Now, Buckner is an assistant coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite wherever he goes, one thing stays the same.

“I’m East Wynnton born and raised. Sampson Avenue. It’s always been about Carver for me. No matter where I went, I represent Carver because I’m proud to be from Columbus. I just happened to go to Carver, but I represent Columbus,” Buckner said.

After Carver’s practice, Buckner is having a private session with the defensive linemen on the team to have a “full, live, NFL D-line practice”.

“When I grew up, professional football players I thought were in Hollywood; I thought they were actors, I couldn’t touch them. It wasn’t until Nate Odomes came back... that I could touch him. He’s human. I’ve got to make it human for them,” Buckner said.