WESTFIELD TWP. — Toledo stood by Robby Buckwald, and he plans to return the favor.
The Rockets didn’t rescind their full-ride scholarship offer when the Cloverleaf senior broke his collarbone during the early stages of the football season. That meant the world to Buckwald, and he rewarded the Mid-American Conference school by making a verbal commitment.
“Right when I got injured, I told the coaches and they said, ‘No problem. Just be there for your team,’” Buckwald said. “They really didn’t care too much because they offered me before I got injured.
“It meant a lot. It meant they were really interested.”
The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder, who is leaning towards an engineering major, also considered Kent State, Bowling Green State University, Pittsburgh and Northwestern. The latter two schools’ interest fizzled when Buckwald got injured, but he has no regrets after choosing one of the better teams in the up-and-coming MAC.
The Rockets are 27-12 over the past three seasons competing in the MAC’s West Division that was won this year by Northern Illinois, which crashed the BCS and will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Toledo won the Military Bowl last season and will battle Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 15.
“The MAC has gotten a lot better in the past few years, so I thought that was a good little conference to play in,” Buckwald said.
Buckwald was a first-team All-Ohio wide receiver catching 46 passes for 791 yards and scoring 109 points as a junior. Despite playing roughly nine quarters this season, he finished with 20 receptions for 207 yards and 30 points.
Also a standout safety and kicker, Buckwald is slated to play safety or outside linebacker for the Rockets.
“I really like defense — I kind of like it better than offense,” Buckwald said. “I like hitting people. I think I’m better at defense.”
Buckwald also will become the fourth member of his family to compete in college. Brother Scott was a soccer player for Wooster, and sister Stephanie was a setter for Otterbein’s volleyball team. Robby’s other sister, Heather, is currently a freshman soccer player for Ohio.
Robby Buckwald may be the best of them all, however, after giving up soccer to play football again following his freshman year.
“I don’t even know where we get it from,” Buckwald said with a grin. “Mom (Dawn) and Dad (Scott) aren’t too much of the athletic type.”
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.