Fulfilling a life-long dream, Garces Memorial High School senior Zach Buckey made a verbal commitment to play football at Stanford University last week.
Buckey, a two-sport standout for the Rams, will follow in his footsteps of his father, Jeff, as a football player at Stanford.
Jeff Buckey starred for the Cardinal from 1993-96 before being drafted by the Miami Dolphins.
Zach Buckey becomes the first Garces football player to commit to a PAC-12 program in 29 years since Todd Stewart signed with the University of California in 1992. That also happens to be the same year Zach’s father signed with Stanford out of Bakersfield High.
Buckey joins fellow Garces seniors Zion Hall (Cal Poly) and J.J. Uphold (Wyoming) to make verbal commitments to Division I college football programs.
Buckey had 13 tackles for loss and a team-high seven sacks last season. He received 25 offers to play college football since February. Buckey and Uphold make up one of the top defensive end duos in California this season.
Buckey is also a standout thrower for the track and field team at Garces. He held the fourth-best discus attempt in the state in the COVID-19 shortened season with a personal-best throw of 173 feet, six inches at the John Godina Throwers Invitational on March 7.
Seniors can officially sign a National Letter of Intent on Dec. 16.
Senior offensive lineman Aidan Meek also received an offer last Friday from Sacramento State. That marks the second D-I offer for Meek after being offered by University of San Diego earlier this summer. Senior running back/linebacker Jalen Smith also has an offer from Darmouth College, an Ivy League program.
The Rams are set to open the altered season on Jan. 8 against Clovis West at Veterans Memorial Stadium and the home opener against Santa Barbara-Bishop Diego is scheduled for Jan. 15.
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