Marques Buford announced on Twitter on Saturday that he had committed to play football for the University of Nebraska. Plenty of analysts thought Buford would end up with the Cornhuskers. However, what might come as a bit of a shock to Cornhusker fans is that it wasn’t necessarily a sales job on the part of a coach. The player told Parker Gabriel of the Lincoln Journal Star that his relationship with future teammate Alante Brown helped seal the deal.
“I’ve known Alante since like fourth grade,” Buford said. “We were always talking about him coming to my high school or me going to his, but once I decided to leave for Texas, it was like, ‘Well, I guess that’s not going to happen.”
Buford is from Chicago but moved to Texas late in his football career. While he could have been in the same class as Brown if he had wanted, a lack of big-time scholarship offers led him to decide to reclassify to the 2021 class. Once he did that, the Power Five conference schools did come calling, including Nebraska.
While he wasn’t able to take official visits to any of the schools recruiting him because of the coronavirus pandemic, he found a way to check out Lincoln on the sly. Buford came to the Cornhuskers on his own and stayed with his high school friend.
— Marques Buford Jr???? (@marques_buford) July 18, 2020
“Me and my parents went just to see what it would be like as far as life without football and how it felt without any of that stuff, and we loved it,” Buford told Gabriel.
While his would-be teammate played a big part in getting him to town, he also had glowing things to say about the coaching staff, including the man who is likely going to be his position coach. Buford said Travis Fischer stayed in constant contact with him during the courtship, which reportedly wasn’t a particularly long period.
The athlete said the staff didn’t just recruit him either. Scott Frost and his assistants were also in constant contact with Buford’s parents and that helped seal the deal.
It’s not just the athletic program that convinced him to commit to the Cornhuskers. He revealed to Josh Hemholdt of Rivals that Nebraska was a perfect fit in almost every way with what he’s looking to do for his future. That includes a business school he said he did quite a bit of research on. That led to him being quite impressed with what he will get from his education.
Brown might have got Buford to come to see Lincoln, but the player has said once he got to town, he loved everything he saw and that’s why he eventually committed.