Penn State transfer practicing with Wolfpack

Tim Buckley left Penn State behind in hopes of helping hometown

North Carolina State in its secondary.

The redshirt freshman was the first of the Nittany Lions players

to transfer after the NCAA imposed heavy sanctions following the

Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Buckley went to high school

a short walk from the Wolfpack’s Carter-Finley Stadium and is now

working on the nearby practice fields in a crash-course effort to

pick up N.C. State’s plays.

”I feel like I’m adjusting well,” Buckley said Saturday during

the team’s preseason media day. ”I’m learning from one of the most

productive secondaries in the country. … Every day I’m getting

better, and that’s all I’m trying to do right now.”

Buckley didn’t want to talk much about the turmoil of his year

at Penn State, saying it was difficult to leave behind close

friends after the NCAA imposed a four-year bowl ban among other

severe penalties. The NCAA allowed current Nittany Lions to

transfer immediately to play for other schools.

Buckley was a former walk-on at Penn State who decided to return

home just before the Wolfpack opened preseason workouts. Eight more

Penn State players had followed suit since the sanctions were

announced July 23.

All-American cornerback David Amerson, who led the nation with

13 interceptions last year, said Buckley had impressed him in early

workouts as a good tackler who breaks well to the ball. But he said

the Wolfpack players haven’t quizzed Buckley on what it was like to

be at Penn State when the scandal hit.

”That’s none of our business,” Amerson said. ”I know it’s

hard on him so we just stay out of that. He’s on our team now so we

try to support him as much as possible.”

Buckley’s arrival helps bolster the depth in a secondary that

lost two safeties via transfer. Coach Tom O’Brien said Buckley

could be a reserve safety and help on special teams.

”He’s fit right in,” he said. ”You can tell he’s a good

football player. He understands football, he’s in the right

position. I think he’s still learning our system and learning our

calls on what we’re doing, so he’s still a little hesitant back


He’s also still thinking about his former teammates at Penn

State. Buckley said he has remained in contact with several since

his return to Raleigh.

”I just know they’ve got a good coaching staff and I know those

guys are all good players,” he said. ”They’re motivated by it.

This is going to motivate them this year. I’m going to be excited

watching them play every Saturday.