After finishing his 40-yard dash with a time of 4.49 seconds, Deone Bucannon slowed down just long enough to talk with a NFL Hall of Famer.
"Right after I got done running my 40, I got to talk to Deion Sanders and shook hands with him," Bucannon said, recounting his experience at the NFL Combine. "He was joking around talking about name similarities. It was really cool."
Bucannon wished he could have talked longer.
"If I had time to sit down and try to pick his brain I would have loved to do that," Bucannon said. "It was rapid-fire. When I was done with my 40, I had to go do something else."
It is a rare moment these days when Bucannon is slowing down.
This is one of those occasions. It's the last day of February and Bucannon takes time out to talk after a morning workout in the WSU Strength and Conditioning Complex.
Just days removed from the Combine at Indianapolis, Ind., Bucannon is hard at work preparing for his March 13 Pro Day and the NFL Draft, May 8-10.
While he is focusing on what lies ahead, Bucannon looks back for a moment to his Combine experience.
In addition to his 40-yard dash time, Bucannon performed 19 reps at the bench press and registered a 36.5 inch vertical jump and a 125 inch broad jump.
His broad jump ranked second among Combine participants at the safety position and his numbers in the 40-yard dash, bench press, and vertical jump were third.
"My goals are to be the best I can be, to go out there and show the scouts what my best effort is." Bucannon said. "Those were my goals, and I feel like I showed them who I am and the athlete I am."
Those watching Bucannon's performance were paying attention.
"Deone Bucannon is not below the radar," analyst Charles Davis said on the NFL Network. "I think he is a guy who can do it all at the safety position."
"He's got size, and he's got four years of high-quality production," Mayock said on NFL.com. "I like him in the box, but he has the range to play on the back end."
Bucannon closed out his Cougar career receiving a number of All-America honors, including First-Team All-America accolades by the Associated Press. An All-Pac-12 First Team selection and three-time All-Pac-12 honoree, Bucannon led the Pac-12 with 114 tackles and tied for the conference lead with six interceptions during the 2013 season.
It's these numbers and accolades that earned Bucannon an invitation to the Combine.
"A dream come true," said Bucannon, looking back on his experience in Indianapolis. "I am overcome with joy and happiness that I got the chance to experience that because not a lot of people do.
"You want to do the best you can for the scouts, the team, the school, for your family," Bucannon added. "Everyone's who's sacrificed for you to get here. It was truly a blessing."
And Bucannon is quick to say the opportunity to play in the NFL would not be possible without his experience at WSU.
"If it wasn't for WSU I wouldn't be at the point where I am today," he said. "I'm so happy and thankful that I decided to go to this great school.
"All the people that support us, through the bad times and the good, I honestly just say thank you. Thank you for everything, for not only what you've given me but what you've given my teammates. We really appreciate it."
By Jason Krump