Inducted into the North Texas Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.. As a four-year starter during the Mean Green’s run of four-straight Sun Belt championships, Buckles was the leader of a secondary that rated as one of the top units against the pass in the nation. In 2002, when North Texas captured its second Sun Belt title and defeated Cincinnati, 24-19, in the New Orleans Bowl, The Mean Green secondary was the 13th best in the country against the pass, allowing just two opponents to throw for over 200 yards. As safety in those defenses, Buckles had 11 career interceptions, tying for fifth all-time at North Texas. As a redshirt freshman, Buckles had five interceptions, which tied him for fifth in the nation and earned him the first of his all-conference honors. Buckles was named to the Sun Belt’s All-Conference teams three more times, making him one of only five players North Texas players to earn four all-conference awards during his career.
Selected to the Sun Belt All-Conference first team for a fourth consecutive year ... Led the Mean Green in pass defense and special teams ... Ranked third on the team with 62 tackles, 48 of which were solos ... Considered one of the fiercest hitters in the Sun Belt Conference ... Against Arkansas State, the free safety had six solo tackles, including a tackle for loss ... The senior added to his interception total with a pick against Louisiana-Lafayette ... Buckles is fifth on the North Texas’ all-time interceptions list with 12, and leads the team with four pass breakups this season ... On special teams, Buckles blocked a crucial third quarter punt against New Mexico State that set up a Mean Green touchdown.
Was voted first-team All-Sun Belt Conference, marking the third consecutive season he earned all-league recognition ... Started every game and wound up sixth on the team with 54 tackles ... Had six games with at least five tackles ... Had three interceptions which ranked second on the team and led the team with six passes broken up ... Was the leader of the defensive backfield that led the Sun Belt with 18 interceptions and was second against league members in pass efficiency defense ... Had two blocked kicks to share team-high honors with Johnny Quinn ... Helped a defense that led the Sun Belt in rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense.
Started all 13 games and was named second team all-conference ... Finished with 52 tackles and two interceptions and was second on the Mean Green with six pass break-ups ... Made three tackles for losses ... Member of a defensive backfield that ended the regular season ranked No. 13 in the country against the pass and allowed just three opponents to pass for more than 200 yards last season ... Had a season-high seven tackles against Nicholls State and made a season-best three pass break-ups against South Florida ... Made six tackles in three other games.
Started 10-of-12 games, missing the Oklahoma and Texas Tech game with a broken hand ... The only freshman in the Sun Belt to be named first-team all-conference ... Led the Sun Belt and was fifth in the nation with five interceptions during the regular season ... Had a sixth interception in the New Orleans Bowl that doesn’t count toward his career or NCAA stats ... Had an interception in his first career game against TCU and interceptions in five of his first six games ... Had a career-high nine tackles against Troy State, including seven solo tackles and one tackle for a loss ... Had a team-high seven tackles in upset win over Middle Tennessee ... After returning from his hand injury, had six or more tackles in three consecutive games ... Also had seven pass deflections and two fumble recoveries and three tackles for loss.
Was a redshirt.
Was a state Top 100 pick by the Houston Chronicle, the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News ... Was an AP second-team all-state pick and an all-Greater Houston selection ... Was the defensive "Player of the Year" in District 18-5A ... Was also rated as the 35th best player in the state by the Austin American-Statesman and the 56th best player in the state by Don Cartwright’s Top 100 ... Was an honorable mention all-America selection by USA Today ... Yates shared the district title his junior year and advanced to the Class 5A Division II area playoffs his senior season