Ray Buchanan Jr.
and Hardy Nickerson Jr.
speak the same language.
Each shares the names of very notable NFL defensive players from the past decade. Both play the same positions as their fathers – Buchanan, a 5-foot-10, 176-pound cornerback and Nickerson, a hard-hitting 5-foot-11, 210-pound linebacker.
Though neither considers it a burden – and think the topic is old hat and matter-of-fact – it was nice when the two met up as teammates in Austin this week for the third International Bowl.
Both will sign Letters of Intent at a National Signing Day breakfast bonanza Wednesday morning before playing the International Bowl against The World, a team made up of players from 20 different countries. The 6 p.m. (EST) contest will be televised by CBS Sports Network.
Nickerson will sign at Cal and Buchanan, Arkansas. They will be among 50 players signing at the ceremony.
"It's been great to be in this setting relating with another kid just like me," Nickerson said. "We can talk about the same stories, the same things we've been through – being compared to your dad, sharing the same name.
"I wouldn't say it's hard, not at all. It's just unique."
Buchanan, from Peachtree Ridge (Suwanee, Ga.)
, was around his dad, a two-time All-Pro who had 47 career interceptions, and NFL camps throughout his youth.
"I'm thankful that my dad played in the NFL," he said. "I'm blessed to have him. I know so much more about the game and how to play because he passed it down to me."
Nickerson's dad passed it down as well, especially the last two seasons as his high school coach at Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
. The senior Nickerson was a 16-year veteran for four teams, was named to the 1990s All-Decade team and was in on a staggering 1,586 tackles.
The junior Nickerson said he was never pressured to play the game, "but give whatever I did 100 percent – give it my all. He just encouraged me every step. He was a great role model.
"The comparisons have never bothered me. It's just inspired me to go beyond that, really."
The two aren't the only sons of a former NFL player on the USA team. Safety Alex Carter
of Briar Woods (Ashburn, Va.)
is the son of former defensive back Tom Carter, who played nine seasons with the Bengals, Bears and Redskins. Carter will sign with Stanford.
"We've had some good talks too," Buchanan said. "He's a great guy and this week teammate."
Here are nine more sons of NFL dads who will sign on the dotted line Wednesday from the Class of 2012. OL Zach Banner (Lakes, Lakewood, Wash.) –
A five-star tackle who will sign at USC, Banner is the son of current Fox TV Analyst and three-time All-Pro lineman Lincoln Kennedy.
RB Keith Byars II, (Boca Raton, Fla.) –
The 5-9, 206-pound running back has numerous offers, the most serious from Louisville, Memphis and Florida International. He is the son of Keith Alan Byers, who played 12 years in the NFL with four teams and scored 54 touchdowns. DE Mario Edwards (Ryan, Denton, Texas) –
The 6-foot-4, 285-pound, five-star recruit and No. 4 standout overall will sign at Florida State. His dad Mario Edwards Sr. was a cornerback for six seasons in the NFL, most of his time with the Cowboys. OT Kyle Kalis (St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio) -
The 6-5, 300-pound lineman will sign at Ohio State. His dad Todd Kalis played 103 games over eight seasons in the NFL with the Bengals, Steelers and Vikings. OT Andrus Peat (Corona del Sol, Tempe, Ariz.) –
The 6-foot-6, 310-pound, five-star and No. 8 recruit overall will sign today at either Stanford, Nebraska, Florida State or USC. His dad Todd Peat Sr. played in the NFL six seasons with the Cardinals and Raiders. QB Zeke Pike (Dixie Heights, Edgewood, Ky.) –
The 6-5, 220-pound signal-caller hasn't wavered from his April commitment to Auburn, where he enrolled earlier this month. He's the son of longtime Buffalo Bills linebacker and defensive end Mark Pike. RB Barry Sanders (Heritage Hall, Oklahoma City) –
The son of the Hall of Famer and 10-time Pro Bowler by the same name, Sanders will sign at Stanford.
ATH Deion Sanders Jr. (Marcus, Flower Mound, Texas) –
The 5-8, 170-pound standout is undecided but has been offered by Houston. His dad by the same name was a Hall of Fame defensive back and kick returner, and is now a color commentator on the NFL Network. DT Alston Smith (Cox, Virginia Beach, Va.) –
The 6-3, 272-pounder will sign to Virginia Tech. He's the son of Hall of Famer and career sack-leader Bruce Smith.