A two-sport star (basketball) in high school in Hawaii, Buckner committed to Oregon in 2012 and was a mainstay on the Ducks defense for four years. He played on the Ducks PAC 12 championship team in 2014 and was an All-Conference player and All American in 2015. He was taken as the 7th pick in the first round of the NFL draft by San Francisco. He joins fellow 2015 winner Josh Garnett from Stanford as one of 27 Morris Trophy winners who have also been first-round NFL picks. Like Buckner, Garnett was drafted by the 49ers; the first time ever that Morris Trophy winners were taken in the first round by the same team.