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August 17, 2012
Redshirt freshman safety Tim Buckley was looking at a pretty good situation at Penn State. The former walk-on from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh was awarded a scholarship following the Nittany Lions' spring practices, and he was listed as the backup safety on the depth chart.
Then the hammer dropped.
Massive sanctions imposed on Penn State by the NCAA opened the door for current players to leave College Station without punishment. Buckley initiated contact with NC State.
"It was hard, but once I talked to NC State, it was an easy decision for me," Buckley admitted.
Buckley became the first Penn State player to leave the program when he transferred to NC State. On the first day of practice, he was lined up as the backup safety in the Wolfpack's stacked secondary that ranks among the best in the country.
"The DBs are great to work with, they're one of the best and most productive secondaries in the country, so coming here and learning from them, and from Coach [Mike] Reed, has been awesome," Buckley stated.
He does not reflect publicly much on what happened at Penn State after the well documented Jerry Sandusky scandal broke.
"I have respect for Penn State," Buckley said, adding that he still talks to quite a few friends on the team. "I don't really want to get involved in talking about that.
"I just know they got a good coaching staff, and I know the guys are all good players. They are motivated about it, so this is going to motivate them this year. I am going to be excited to watch them play every Saturday."
But not as excited as he is about "coming home," as he puts it. Buckley joked that since Cardinal Gibbons is literally across the street from NC State's Carter-Finley Stadium, he could see the Wolfpack's home venue from his high school.
"Choosing between NC State and any other school, it was a no-brainer for NC State," Buckley said.
"I'm excited, I can't wait for the opportunity to get on the field. It's a feeling that you can't really describe."
N.C. State NEWS