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Arizona Cardinals' Deone Bucannon shaped by military parents

Arizona Cardinals safety Deone Bucannon addresses the media at a press conference on Friday, May 9, 2014. (Photo: Vince Marotta/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Growing up, Cardinals first round draft pick Deone Bucannon, selected No. 27 overall, found himself traveling quite a bit.

He lived throughout California, spending time in Coronado, Fairfield, Miramar, Serra Mesa and Vacaville just to name a few cities.

"The list goes on and on," said Bucannon, who included Hawaii on the list as well. "Hey, I can't complain. It was some nice places."

That's what happens when you're the product of military parents.

Bucannon's father, Duane, served in the Marine Corps while his mother, Sonji, was in the Navy for 23 years.

"They were great parents," said Bucannon after the Cardinals formally introduced the 21-year-old safety out of Washington State on Friday. "You hear military family and you think, ‘Oh, it's just this guy and he has no say,' and things like that, but it's not like that. It's just that there is a right and a wrong thing to do, and there is a right and a wrong way to do things.

"That's really what my mom and dad instilled in me. At the end of the day, it helped me be a better man."

And be a better football player.

Bucannon was a four-year starter and a captain for three seasons. He led the Pac-12 in tackles (114) his final year at Washington State, recording six of his 15 career interceptions on his way to being named a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back.

Not bad for a kid who had only four scholarship offers coming out of high school,

"If you want something, you have to work hard for it. You have to put in the work to get it. If you're not willing to put in the work to get it, then it's not worth getting," Bucannon said.

"My dad told me, ‘Don't play this game if you're just going through the motions.' That's not why I play this game. I play this game because I love it. I love the camaraderie. I love making plays for my team. I was telling people earlier, one of my favorite things is making plays and earning my teammates respect. That's why I go out there and I play this game, to earn the respect of my team and my teammates each and every game, as if I lost it. That's what I'm going to do here."

About the Author


School: Syracuse University, '96

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: December 1, 1999

Favorite sports memory: Game 7, 2001 World Series

Least-favorite sports memory: Game 1, 1988 World Series

Favorite all-time athlete(s): Larry Bird, Don Mattingly

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers, Field of Dreams

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