How high school coach in Hawaii challenged Buckner the moment he met him

How high school coach in Hawaii challenged Buckner the moment he met him

The moment DeForest Buckner was spotted ocn campus at Punahou School in Honolulu, football coach Kale Ane took particular notice.

“It was a great situation to see someone 6-foot-7 walking onto our campus,” Ane said. “I didn’t care what sport he was playing, I knew he was going to play football. So I was really happy.”

Ane, 65, played center for seven NFL seasons, mostly with the Kansas City Chiefs. Over the course of Buckner’s high school and college football experiences, Ane encouraged Buckner to set challenging goals for himself.

“He really opened that whole side of the game to me and about life in general,” Buckner said. “I was thinking small -- not that big -- and I thank him for that every day.”

Buckner chose to honor Ane for the Fourth Annual Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards because of the profound influence he has experienced from the long-time coach.

“He’s a very calm man,” Buckner said. “It was easy to have a conversation with him. He’s really open and genuine. In his presence, I felt very comfortable.

“I formed a bond with him quickly.”

Buckner remembers Ane took an interest in him even before he played his first snap of varsity football. Then-USC coach Pete Carroll came to the high school to visit linebacker Manti Te’o on a recruiting visit. Ane did not want Carroll to leave until he also got a chance to meet Buckner.

“I was a freshman and hadn’t played varsity ball, yet,” Buckner said. “And coach Kale was telling them, ‘This is one of our young guys. He’s going to be somebody one day. I just want you to get to know him real quick.’

“Coach saw the potential in me and wanted to get my name out there.”

Ane said he could tell that Buckner had vast potential – despite weighing a mere 200 pounds on his tall frame.

“You want to challenge your top athletes, and he was definitely one of our top athletes,” Ane said. “He had the potential to be a standout Division I player, and perhaps further than that.

“His work ethic allowed him to have those kinds of dreams and goals. We talked about where you want to go, and if you got hurt, how would you be treated? Does the system fit what you’re doing and are you happy? We had a few talks.”

Buckner accepted a full-ride scholarship to Oregon, where he played four seasons and graduated with a degree in criminology. The 49ers selected him with the No. 7 overall pick of the 2016 Draft, and he has developed into one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL.

Reuben Foster has marijuana misdemeanor charge dismissed


Reuben Foster has marijuana misdemeanor charge dismissed

Reuben Foster saw another win legally Friday as his marijuana charge resulting in a misdemeanor was dropped in Alabama. 

Foster's case was dismissed Friday by the Tuscaloosa district attorney's office after completing a diversion course. The 24-year-old must pay court costs and a $100 bail bond fee, according to multiple reports. 

Even though the misdemeanor was dropped, Foster could still face discipline as part of the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Friday's news comes just two days after a Santa Clara County judge dismissed two domestic-violence charges against Foster and reduced a weapons charge to a misdemeanor. 

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee was first to report Friday's news. 

Reuben Foster's accuser will not face charges of lying to police or perjury

Reuben Foster's accuser will not face charges of lying to police or perjury

The woman who recanted her accusations that 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster punched her in the face 10 times will not face prosecution for lying to police or perjury.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office did not respond specifically to questions about Foster’s former girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, but sent a general statement that addresses the situation.

“We don’t charge domestic violence victims who falsely recant,” the statement from the DA’s office read. “We empathize with them, we support them, and we advocate for them.”

Foster's lawyer was not available for comment at the time of the news. 

A judge on Wednesday cleared Foster of two felony domestic violence charges. Foster joined the team’s offseason program on Thursday after general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan had stated any player who hits a woman will not have a spot on with the 49ers.

Ennis told police investigators in Los Gatos on April 11 that Foster dragged her, beat her and spit on her. Two days later, she recanted her statement. Under oath last week at the preliminary hearing, Ennis said Foster did not harm her. She said the injuries were the result of a fight with another woman the night before. According to Ennis, she lied as revenge against Foster, who threatened to end their relationship.

Judge Nona L. Klippen, in announcing her decision, concluded the prosecution did not prove probable cause in the preliminary hearing last week. The judge said photographs of Ennis’ injuries were more consistent with a purported fight after a road rage incident, which was apparently captured on video, than from the punches of an NFL player.

An hour after the judge’s decision, the DA’s office released a statement in which it expressed disappointment the case against Foster was not advanced to trial.

“Recantation is common among domestic violence victims,” the DA office's statement read. “Some are scared, some feel guilty, some are coerced, some need money. Whatever the cause, we move forward on cases when victims falsely recant because we know that if we don’t more victims will be hurt. Our commitment to domestic violence survivors is unwavering.”