Sacramento quarterback C.J. Bacher has long been a Bootleg favorite in this recruiting class. His junior year film lit up my eyes, and his athleticism has reminded me of Randy Fasani. TheInsiders West Coast recruiting expert Greg Biggins has similarly compared Bacher with Jake Plummer. There are a growing number of college coaches who are beginning to believe in the Jesuit High School rising senior as well, as evidenced by his five Division I scholarship offers. The most recent just came from Utah, and it's an intriguing one for Bacher.
"They called me at the end of the month," the signal caller says of the inception of the Utes' interest. "They told me they really liked my video and that they would offer. Last week they followed through with an offer in writing. Their offense is based on the quarterback, which I like. But there's a lot more I need to learn about Utah."
I was expecting that Arizona State would be the offer to come at the beginning of June, as they had long told Bacher through the spring that they would offer him when he took an unofficial visit and camped on June 1. He made the trek down to Tempe and had a good time, though the Sun Devils did not come through. "It's a nice campus and the coaches were good to me," the quarterback offers on a positive note. "The [ASU] coaches told my dad that they have offered two big guys and are waiting to see what happens with them. At the camp, I felt I threw well; there were a lot of good receivers that made it easy for me. It sure is hot there - it was 110 degrees by 11 am!"
There's been no rest for Bacher, though, with a busy month of camp activity. He was at Berkeley Sunday for a one-day camp and then left the next day for the East Coast. The Rocklin (CA) slinger has grandparents in the area and is spending a couple extra days there before starting camp at Boston College Wednesday. He'll return to the Sacramento area next week and then immediately gear up for Stanford's camp on the 26th.
"I had a lot of fun last year," he says of the Cardinal camp. "There should be a lot of great guys I'll get to camp with, too. I talked with Alex Fletcher, the number one center in the country, the other day and he'll be there. It'll be great to meet him in person. [Wide receiver] Austin Collie may be there, too."
While these camps can do a lot to help improve Bacher, they also serve an important recruiting function as the coaches at the respective schools evaluate prospective talents. "I just go into these camps and try to do my best," the quarterback recruit comments. "I can't get caught up in whether a certain camp could mean an offer or not. [Stanford quarterbacks] Coach [Bill] Cubit has seen my film and saw me throw some at the Nike Camp, so he's gotten a look at me already. But for sure he'll be watching me closely this time."
Bacher also was on The Farm recently for Stanford's Junior Day and had more chances to talk with the Cardinal coaches about his recruitment and where he stands. He brings us up to date on what he learned. "Stanford says they have offers out to two big guys right now - Rhett Bomar and Chase Patton," he begins. "They say that Rhett is likely not really looking at Stanford and Chase is up in the air. I'm right behind those guys and we'll see how it plays out."
just recruiting boards, it was a chance for Bacher to interact with the Cardinal
coaches in greater depth than in visits past, and he walked away very favorably
impressed. "Throughout the day, I got a chance to talk to many of the
coaches quite a bit. I like them a lot. Coach Cubit ragged me for
grabbing an ice cream
bar on the tour of the book store but everyone's telling me to bulk up so it seemed like a good idea to keep pounding the calories. The last event was the luncheon. Coach Teevens joined me at my table and invited me and my family to his office where we talked for about another half hour. He highlighted the things he feels I do well and talked a lot about his coaching philosophy and needs. He makes me feel pretty comfortable with Stanford. I also really liked the campus tour - I didn't know the campus was that big!"
Teevens did also talk to Bacher about what he sees in the young athletic quarterback, and why the Cardinal are pursuing him. "Coach Teevens says that none of the other quarterbacks they are looking at are as mobile as me - that's what he likes about me," Bacher recalls. "He says I can get out of bad situations and make things happen. They like that, and the fact that I'm not turned off by T.C. Ostrander and Trent Edwards already there."
The Jesuit signal caller says that Stanford is still his #1 school and names a group of four as his leaders just behind the Cardinal: Cal, Boston College, Arizona State and Northwestern. Though there is a darkhorse to watch in this race, as another academically renowned school is back in the mix.
"I thought Duke lost interest in me because I couldn't afford to go to their camp," he explains. "Last week though they told me they are still interested in me. If they offer, I'll try to plan a trip there. It's a great situation, a great academic school, a passing offense, and they only have a few QBs. We'll just have to wait to see how that goes. I'm pretty open to a lot of schools because I've seen Stanford and Cal a lot and also seen Boston College, but haven't really seen many others."
That leaves the question of the timing for this rising senior quarterback, and if/when he will take official visits. "There's a part of me that still wants to commit before my senior season starts in August, but then virtually everyone advises me to wait until all the offers are in and I've had a chance to take all five official visits," he thinks out loud. "It just seems smarter to go through the decision making process during the summer when there's more time rather than after my senior season. Last year we finished our season on Dec 13th. If we can go all the way again, take away Christmas time and then there's really only about a month to take visits and decide while keeping my grades up. So, I'll just have to see how it goes this summer."
Speaking of his senior season, Bacher and his Jesuit teammates will open the 2003 campaign against an unusual opponent. Stockton St. Mary's will come into town, which creates a game between Bacher and fellow Stanford recruit John Gibson. The two met during Junior Day and had some friendly jabs back and forth in anticipation of the big game. Both programs are standout powers in their respective areas, but they had what Bacher describes as an "ugly" game when they met in 2002. Jesuit prevailed 9-0, but both recruits believe the game will be much cleaner and exciting this time. Jesuit will also play a notable non-conference game against University of San Diego High School.
Bacher also recently received his SAT score, which was a strong 1290. Though talking to the proud student-athlete, you wouldn't know it. "I'm not too happy with my SAT," he says. "I was shooting for 1400. I just took the ACT last Saturday and I understand that can take the place of the SAT. I think I did pretty well. I'll take the SAT again in the fall, probably October."
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