Josh Buck is so much like his dad that his mom refers to the two as twins.
The biggest difference between the Lone Peak senior linebacker and his father, Jason, the former BYU standout and NFL defensive lineman, is the level of intensity each displayed on the field.
In the family
Lone Peak linebacker Josh Buck led the team in tackles through the first nine weeks.
Buck’s father, Jason, won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top lineman in 1986 at BYU and played for the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins.
Jason Buck is the Knights’ defensive coordinator and says he is comfortable playing Josh at any level in the defense — on the line, at linebacker, or in the back at safety.
"I think it’s almost impossible to match my dad’s intensity," Josh said about his dad, who is the Knights’ defensive coordinator. "Even as a coach, he’s so intense. It’s so hard. We try and I try. A lot of the time I can’t."
Jason acknowledges the difference and has come to accept that asking his son — and high school players in general — to play with NFL-caliber intensity may be asking too much.
"I can’t expect them to have the intensity I bring from the NFL yet," the former Outland Trophy winner said. "I have to be patient and teach these boys to play not only with a high level of intensity, but with a high level of intellect at the same time. That’s the gift of a great defensive player."
Intensity aside, the younger Buck certainly takes after his father. On the field, No. 40 is a ball hawk, able to rush the passer as a defensive end, fall back into coverage as a linebacker or roam free at safety.
He also is the Knights’ backup tight end and long snapper. A virtual Mr. Everything for the Knights.
"He’s just got such large stature out there on the field," Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary said. "He has a great savvy for the game. He’s got real good instincts and a nose for where the ball is."
While Buck makes a name for himself, he embraces the comparisons and the relationship he has built with his father.
"I love having him there as a coach," Josh said. "He’s a lot harder on me, but he rally motivates everyone and he’s really helped the team so much. It’s great to have my dad there and have our relationship get even closer."
Jason, who also coached Josh’s older brother Tyson, now a linebacker at the University of Utah, has coached his younger son on-and-off since the sixth grade.
"It’s been a great experience for me and my boys," Jason said. "To be able to do it at the varsity level is so special.
"Josh and I are very much alike. Because he’s grown up with me coaching him, he has a fantastic football intellect. I can put him anywhere, and I can trust him."
The family atmosphere at Lone Peak extends to the relationship between McGeary and his defensive coordinator, who have been friends 29 years, since they were teammates at Ricks College in 1983.
Jason went on to play at BYU then for the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins. Josh has yet to make a decision on where he will play next year. Among the schools interested in his services are Stanford, Northwestern and Rice, as well as those instate.
"Depending on what the colleges say and what I feel is best, I don’t know if I will serve a mission," Josh said. "That’s going to be the biggest factor. It’s not important [to stay in state]. If far away is the best place for me, I will go and keep in touch with my family and see them as much as I can."
Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.