The whistle blows. The ball is hiked. Lehigh quarterback Brad Mayes takes a look down the field.
Mayes looks at option one. He looks at option two. He looks at option three.
He throws the ball.
This time, Mayes threw the ball to senior Zach Bucklin giving him the first catch of his Lehigh career.
Throughout his career at Lehigh, Bucklin’s primary role as tight end has been to block. The play called was a common one, and Bucklin has had several opportunities over the years, but this time it finally clicked.
“It was a fake run play to one side and the quarterback runs to the other side,” Bucklin said. “So he faked left, he ran to the right and I pretend like I’m blocking the guy on the edge. Then I run out and this time he threw me the ball. And I caught it.”
The play wasn’t specifically designed around Bucklin catching the ball, he was just the best option for the play. He said that this is a play run by the team pretty often and that the quarterback is given specific players as options to throw to. Bucklin is a third option, not a go-to receiver.
Bucklin said that he’s been in situations like this before and in a position where he could have caught the ball, it just had not happened yet.
“It felt really good to finally get my first catch,” Bucklin said.
His teammates were also full of joy for Bucklin getting his first catch. With the biggest smile, teammate and friend Trevor Socarras said how happy he was for Bucklin.
But regardless of how good he felt in that moment, in Bucklin’s eyes, as long as he works hard for the team, catching or blocking, that’s all that matters.
“In the end it’s not about me getting catches,” he said. “That could be my only catch of the year as long as we do what we need to do as a team and win the rest of the games this season.”