Class of 2024 defensive back Mario Buford has been to Lincoln several times for visits. The brother of current Nebraska defensive back, Marques Buford, is quite familiar with Nebraska at this point. There was one tradition he had not participated in yet.
He never had a Runza. That was until this week.
“I didn’t know what a Runza was. I just thought it was the chili and cinnamon rolls,” Mario said. “Then my mom told me that my brother wrote a paper about it or something. I was thinking a Runza? He wrote a paper about a Runza? What is that?”
Now Mario has tried the Nebraska tradition and will definitely have one again after enjoying it. The DeSoto High standout (5-11, 165) was in Lincoln this time to compete in the Friday Night Lights camp. He was a standout performer in the camp in his limited reps. That was before his brother pulled him off the field to hang out with him. Mario made a big play in the one-on-one section of the camp which brought out cheers from the current Huskers.
“That was really cool,” Mario said. “Before the play even started, I was going to play off coverage. Then all the Huskers were like ‘press, press.’ So, I thought, ‘Alright, I got y’all.’ I guess the receiver, I really don’t know his name but I guess he was meant to be like some type of Husker recruit. So I wanted to guard him. I guarded him and made a play. They all came up and got hype with me. That made me feel like I was part of the team a little bit. Then next time, they did the same exact thing. It was actually way louder the second time. That was fun.”
There was great energy at the camp and the players had a lot of fun getting good competition. It made it better for Mario that he got to make those plays in front of everyone but he also feels like that is what he is supposed to do. The high 3-star recruit has double digit offers from around the country. Those offers includes Arkansas, Oregon and Louisville. His connection to Nebraska is helped by his brother who is a steady recruiter.
“He’s like my biggest recruiter,” Mario said. “He is always preaching to me about the Huskers and how great Lincoln is. He also talks about the team and how great Coach [Travis] Fisher is.”
Marques is also able to give advice on what Mario needs to do to prepare himself for college. The pair often discuss the obstacles to watch out for now that Marques is becoming established in college.
Mario has a lot of options for where he will attend college. He plans to visit Washington, Oregon, Texas A&M and Texas this summer. There may also be visits to Louisville and USC. The thing he says makes Nebraska different is the people. Nebraska fans are ‘different’ and the people at the school are genuine. That also extends to the coaching staff where he’s built a bond with Fisher.
“Oh, that’s my dog, man,” Mario said. “I feel like he like understand where I’ll be coming from. He has a deep understanding of my brother too. Basically, he’s like a good role model. He’s a really good coach. He can make sure you know what you are doing when you are at DB.”
As Mario narrows evaluates the options and narrows down his choices he is looking for a place that he can call home. He is looking for a place that he can feel welcome and the coaches mesh well with him.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.