North Texas Daily

Buyers provides a cornerstone at cornerback for Mean Green football

Buyers provides a cornerstone at cornerback for Mean Green football

Buyers provides a cornerstone at cornerback for Mean Green football
October 24
12:29 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

Kenneth Buyers didn’t play football in elementary school. Thinking he might get hurt, his parents held him out.

They finally relented in middle school. Nine years later, Buyers is a sophomore at UNT and a starting cornerback on the Mean Green football team.

After choosing his father’s alma mater, the University of North Texas, Buyers earned a scholarship after his freshman season and, as a sophomore, a starting spot in a UNT defense that is one of the top in the nation in multiple categories.

“He is just such a sensational young man and is one of the most improved guys on the football team this season,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “He plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played and we wouldn’t have seen the improvement in this defense this year if it wasn’t from a major contribution from Kenny Buyers.”

While previously enrolled at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., Buyers realized it was not for him and left after a semester.

He ended up at UNT, walked onto the football team and earned as scholarship that offseason. He started his first game against the University of Georgia on Sept. 21.

“I was given the opportunity and took full advantage of it,” Buyers said. “I have been very blessed and fortunate with the way things have turned out for me.”

Buyers has started every game since Georgia. He said he credits his work ethic outside of practice for some of his success.

“For me it starts in the film room, and I try and get ahead of my opponents that way,” Buyers said. “Growing up I had always felt that I had a real understanding of the game, whatever sport I played.”

Buyers is fourth on the UNT defense with 42 tackles, while adding an interception, a sack and two fumble recoveries.

His perfectionist mentality shows on the field. Buyers said he is obsessed with tackling technique, helping make him one of the team’s best tacklers.

“He looks like the underdog out there but he doesn’t play like an underdog in any way,” sophomore cornerback Zac Whitfield said. “He’s one of the fastest and best tacklers on the team without question.”

Buyers has become part of the future for the Mean Green secondary, as two fellow cornerbacks will graduate this semester.

“It has just been so much fun here, playing for these seniors and helping them go out with a bang,” Buyers said. “I will really miss these seniors when they’re gone. For me, to have an impact in their final season, means a lot to me.”

Buyers’ success is in honor of his mother, who died of breast cancer when he was in sixth grade.

“She really left a mark on [him],” his father Kenny Buyers said. “You just have to draw as many positives as you can from something like that as a family.

Outside of football, Buyers is a business major but is undecided on what he wants to do. One thing he will consider is going into coaching – something his mother said before her death.

“If I could have a team full of Kenny Buyers I would take them all in a heartbeat,” said Mark Smith, Buyers’ high school head coach. “When he’s ready I would want him on my staff as a coach with no questions. He would be doing humanity a disservice if he did not get into the coaching profession.”

Buyers and the Mean Green defense have allowed just three total touchdowns in their last three games. The team looks to continue its strong play at the University of Southern Mississippi on Saturday.

Sophomore cornerback Kenny Buyers prepares to throw the ball during football practice on Tuesday afternoon at the Dickey practice field. Buyers played 11 games in the North Texas secondary in 2012 and made 15 tackles in that year as a walk-on. Feature photo by Harris Buchanan / Staff Photographer

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