Bobby Petrino got his first commitment from the class of 2016 on Saturday when Baylen Buchanan pledged to the Cards. That last name should get your attention. His father is former Louisville great Ray Buchanan. If you are too young to remember Ray, here is his bio from GoCards.com:
He endeared himself to all Louisville fans as “Big Play” Ray, but it was a career that almost wasn’t for Ray Buchanan.
Arriving as a wide receiver/ running back from Maywood, Ill., Buchanan initially balked at being moved to the defensive backfield, to the point of almost transferring. After some convincing by coach Howard Schnellenberger, Buchanan made the switch and left his mark on the U of L and NFL history books as a two-time collegiate All-American and NFL Pro Bowl selection.
Buchanan jumped on the scene as a sophomore in 1990, piling up 59 tackles and three interceptions in helping the Cardinals to the 1990 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl (including a key field goal block against Memphis to preserve the bowl bid). He then made his mark on the national stage as the Defensive MVP of the Fiesta Bowl with five tackles, a fumble recovery and a recovery of a blocked punt in the end zone as Louisville drilled Alabama 34-7.
As a junior in 1991, Buchanan was named a preseason Playboy All-American as he compiled 108 tackles and set the then-single season record for interceptions with eight picks.
Buchanan closed his U of L career with another stellar season as he compiled 95 tackles to go along with four interceptions and 10 pass breakups.
Drafted in the third round by the Indianapolis Colts, Buchanan embarked on a continuing stellar professional career where he is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL.
Buchanan would help lead the Colts to the NFC Championship game in 1996 before being traded to the Atlanta Falcons. He then put together five consecutive seasons of five or more interceptions while helping lead the “Dirty Birds” to Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999.
Baylen is a cornerback from Suwanee, Georgia and is listed at 5’11 and 170 lbs. He attended camp at Louisville this weekend when he got the offer and gave his verbal commitment. Look for a CSZ exclusive interview coming soon with him.