Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.
Name: Divine Buckrham
College: Lehigh University
Height, weight, class, position: 6-0, 185-pound, junior, defensive back
High School: Kiski School in Queens, N.Y.
About Divine: A player who contributed the moment he stepped on campus, Buckrham played in all 12 games as a freshman in 2017 with five starts and as a sophomore a year ago started eight games. This season as a starter he’s posted 18 tackles including a winning tackle on the road against Colgate a half-yard short of the goal line on the final play to preserve the victory. As a young player who was having an impact on the field, Divine was looking to use that platform to have an impact off the field. He volunteered to become a leader and co-founder of the Lehigh Chapter in the infancy stages, attended the Leadership Development Conference in 2018 and as the chapter Vice President was instrumental in Lehigh holding its inaugural Lift For Life to support the Rare Disease Community in 2019.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
BUCKRHAM: Beating Lafayette my freshman year (2017) for the Patriot League Title. Started in my first Lehigh-Lafayette game and had a blast in the cold, wet, and rainy weather.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?
BUCKRHAM: By hearing about the Leadership Development Conference from my position coach, a good friend of Rob (Long). From there, having a great experience getting to meet the guys in charge and learning how I and other college-football players have the power to help people suffering from Rare Diseases. I thought it was my responsibility to take advantage of this opportunity.
What have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?
BUCKRHAM: I learned to be selfless. Putting people before me even more than I did before, can actually help save lives in the long run. I learned that despite all being opponents on the field, we (all Uplifting Athletes Chapters) all have the job and platform to put people suffering from rare disease who need help, before ourselves.
What advice would you share with someone in high school looking to play college football?
BUCKRHAM: Trust the process! The recruiting process is different for every single player! Don’t get ahead of yourself but at the same time have confidence and know who you are on and off the field no matter where you end up. Take everything one step at a time, and most importantly, work your tail off day-in and day-out.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
BUCKRHAM: Tough one but would have to be Tyrann Mathieu. I love the passion he plays with and the fire he brings to the field. His story is truly inspiring and makes me feel like I can make it through any storm, on or off the field. The man has the craziest defensive college highlight tape of all time. He’s a versatile freak and makes plays ALL over the field. I try and match my play to his.
If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?
BUCKRHAM: My man NIPSEY HUSSLE “THE GREAT”! Easy. He is truly my idol in every aspect. I learned countless things from him from how to hold myself, how to be bigger than just an athlete, how to think intellectually, and to inspire others. I have a poster of him on my wall and plan on getting a tattoo of his face this winter after the season. To sit down and have a conversation would be one of the biggest moments of my life, without a question. His demeanor, charisma, and way of thinking is out of this world, and despite him passing, I still feel like he’s underrated. #TheMarathonContinues!
DIVINE ON THE HOT SEAT
What is your perfect pizza?
BUCKRHAM: Pepperoni and sausage. Sometimes pineapple instead of the sausage depending on my mood!
All time favorite movie?
BUCKRHAM: 4-Way Tie: The Polar Express, Avatar, The Legend of Tarzan, and Troy
What is your go-to fast food restaurant?
Favorite sports team (any sport)?
BUCKRHAM: Pittsburgh Steelers
What is the most used app on your phone?