Former Clemson star Brentson Buckner is headed back to the NFL as defensive line coach of Arizona Cardinals.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Buckner is close to finalizing a deal to join Coach Bruce Arians' staff. Buckner worked under Arians when he was offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buckner was a coaching intern.
Buckner retired from the NFL in 2005 and has dabbled in coaching at local high school. He was named head coach of the Charlotte Speed indoor football team last year, though the league folded before any games were played.
“It’s a big jump but I was blessed with the years of playing in the NFL, coaching high school kids and even the little time with the Charlotte Speed has really helped me build everything together,” Buckner told The Observer.
"In Pittsburgh, the coaches let me see what a coach’s life is. I was in every personnel meeting, breaking down film, putting down practice plans. They exposed me to so much and it was just natural.”
Buckner played 12 season in the NFL, including his last five with the Carolina Panthers. He was a first-team All-ACC defensive lineman at Clemson, where he finished his career with 46 tackles for loss. He was drafted by the Steelers, and also had stints in Kansas City and Cincinnati before joining the Panthers as a free agent in 2001.