Catching Up With No. 13

While at Ohio State, Chad Cacchio proved that good things come to those who put in hard work as he went from a walk-on to a scholarship player, a rarer feat in the John Cooper era than today. Cacchio is now proving to be a success off the field as he recently received a DDS from Ohio State. Dave Biddle caught up with Cacchio to find out his thoughts on OSU football and life since then.

He was No. 13, just before another No. 13 joined the program.

Chad Cacchio, an Ohio State wide receiver who played from 1996-2000, recently earned a DDS from OSU's dental school.

Cacchio wasted no time in finding employment following graduation on June 12. He will join a private practice with his uncle, Mark Miller, in Westerville.

Cacchio will also participate in a part-time fellowship at the Ohio State implant clinic State with Dr. Edwin J. McGlumphy.

Joining Cacchio at medical school graduation was former OSU linebacker Greg Bellisari, who earned an MD.

So, with all the negative press that sometimes comes the way of the football program, here are two former players holding medical degrees.

Cacchio was a standout quarterback and punter at Upper Arlington High School. He had options to go to smaller colleges, but decided he wanted to play at OSU as a walk-on.

He redshirted in 1996, then didn't see the field in '97.

But in '98, he made the traveling squad as a wide receiver and also saw time on special teams. Ohio State finished 11-1 and ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Just prior to the 1999 season, Cacchio was informed by head coach John Cooper that he was being placed on scholarship. It was a dream come true for Cacchio.

"I had a pretty good spring and was doing well in preseason camp," Cacchio told "Then, one day during camp, he called the team together and said he was rewarding me with a scholarship. It was a goal of mine and it was a special moment."

The Buckeyes struggled in '99, finishing just 6-6. On the season, Cacchio (6-0, 190) had four receptions for 44 yards.

"It was a tough year for us," he said.

But in 2000, Cacchio had a season he will always remember. He was the No. 3 wideout and finished the season with 20 receptions for 390 yards and four touchdowns.

"It was a lot of fun being a part of the team that year," Cacchio said. "To start off as a walk-on, then earn a scholarship, then to be able to help the team … it was great. It was a great way to end my career. It was nice being, I guess, a valuable member of the team and being able to contribute to our winning. From where I started, I wouldn't have believed it."

Cacchio's statistics would have been even better in 2000, but he battled injuries for much of the second half of the season.

Yes, Cooper was fired after the season. Cacchio never got a chance to play for Jim Tressel, but he follows the program like he's still a player.

"I've had a few good opportunities to meet Coach Tressel and talk with him," Cacchio said. "He definitely has the program moving in the right direction.

"I was so happy for the 2002 team - the national championship team. There were still a lot of guys on that team that I played with.

"Coach Tressel is a great coach. He has a knack for bringing the right people together. Like the Butch Reynolds move. I thought that was a great hire. I think the program is just going to get better and better and better under Coach Tressel."

As for his career as a dentist, Cacchio says, "I am going to grow with my uncle and see how that goes."

Cacchio, who is living in Dublin for the time being, is engaged to Stacey Savage.

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