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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2026 ATH Buck Craig One Of Connecticut's Next Bright Stars

May 27, 2023

Buck Craig’s recruitment started early.

Like early early.

The 2026 Connecticut athlete landed his first scholarship offers as an eighth-grader.

Back in June of 2022, Craig received offers from Rutgers, Pitt, UMass, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Syracuse and UConn.

He capped off the month with an offer from Georgia.

Again, this was months before he would enroll as a ninth-grader at Avon Old Farms.

“It was crazy,” Craig says, pointing to his older brother Khyon Gillespie, who played at UConn.

“I was sitting in his room talking on the phone with coaches from all over the country. I didn't even know what to say when they were offering me. It was crazy. I needed his help, so he helped me.”

His brother is a main reason Craig ended up playing for Jon Wholley at Avon.

“Coach Wholley recruited my older brother from UConn,” Craig says. “I already knew I wanted to come here because he helped my older brother and I knew he was going to help me.”

It’s a decision Craig doesn’t regret, pointing to the exposure the program has already provided him and more.

“Being a better person, being brighter, being just being a better man period,” he says of how the school has benefited him.

Craig has also seen his exposure grow through his work with Stack Williams and Connecticut’s Supreme Athlete program, which provides mentorship, training and a 7-on-7 platform.

He hasn’t had the chance to take many visits yet and doesn’t have a summer schedule locked in yet, although he’s hoping to hit the road soon.

He’s received preliminary interest from Notre Dame and it’s a school he’s familiar with.

“It's one of the top schools in the country football-wise and academically, the gold helmets, luck of the Irish, the gold and all of that,” he says.

Craig could play a variety of positions, but the 5-foot-10, 165-pounder is clear about preferring to play running back.

“I've been playing it my whole life, so that's my position,” he says.

It’s early, but he has an idea of what he’s looking for in a school.

“A really good team, really good foundation for my best fit, to build a good relationship with all the coaches, teammates, and everyone around campus.”

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