January 27, 2012

Bacci excited to be a Chippewa

Romeo (Mich.) defensive end Joe Bacci made a commitment to Central Michigan in June. He is 6-foot-0, weighs 216 pounds and runs a 4.78 40-yard dash. As National Signing Day approaches, he is excited to move on to the next level.

"I'm really excited to get up to CMU. I've been talking to my coaches a lot about the move and they are really excited for me to play at the next level because we know the challenge that it's going to be, but I believe I'm ready for it."

Bacci and the Romeo football team had a successful season, finishing with a record of 8-3. They beat Troy Athens in the first round of the playoffs, 34-31, before falling to Utica Eisenhower in the District Finals, 13-0. Eisenhower lost to state champion Cass Tech, 6-3, in the state semi-finals. Bacci finished the season with 70 tackles, three sacks and one interception.

"The seniors before us didn't think we were going to have success, so that was a motivational factor for us and no one in the town really expected us to make the playoffs, so it was nice to prove everyone wrong."

Bacci dislocated his shoulder in the game against Utica Eisenhower, but he says that he will be ready to go by the time workouts begin in the summer.

"I'm in therapy right now for my dislocated shoulder that was hurt in the second round of the playoffs, but I will be back to 100% by the summer."

Bacci already has ties with current Chippewa and former Romeo Bulldog, Ben Brown. Brown was his host when Bacci took his official visit to CMU on December 2-4.

"During the official visit, I hung out with Ben mostly. He took me around campus and told me that I will really like it up there. I blocked for Ben my sophomore year, so we have a pretty good relationship."

During his visit, the Romeo native did met some other current Chippewa players as well.

"I also talked to Letterious Dalton and Darion Dawson. They play the position that I might be playing and they were fun to hang out with as well. I'm not that close with any of the recruits coming in right now, but I'm looking forward to meeting them."

Bacci isn't sure where or how much playing time he will get his first year on campus. He is being projected as a hybrid type of player that could end up at defensive end or outside linebacker, or he could end up splitting time between the two positions.

"There has been talk at putting me at defensive end or a rush linebacker position, they called it the hybrid position. The coaches said they will have a position for me after camp. The coaches said they would like to redshirt all the freshmen, but obviously if I do well in camp, there is a small chance I could play if they need me."

Chippewa fans will be getting a chance to see Bacci compete at Kelly-Shorts Stadium sooner than you might expect. He will be suiting up for the East squad in the MHSFCA East vs. West All-Star Game, which will be held in Mount Pleasant on June 30, 2012.

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