The new facilities at WSU were enough to impress Baccellia out of Westlake Village, Calif., during his unofficial visit last week. But beyond that, it was the coaching staff that really made an impression on the potential Cougar.
The players were out of town when Baccellia visited Pullman, so he never had the chance to meet them face to face. However, the coaches and the people he encountered on the campus were enough.
“Just the environment and the vibe I got from the coaches, and the other people I saw at the school, was just really cool and I really liked it,” Baccellia said.
Baccellia said he enjoyed the college-town atmosphere that Pullman has to offer. That college-town atmosphere isn’t for everyone, but Baccellia felt a strong sense of connection.
In fact, he said he talked to the receptionist at the front desk of his hotel who was wearing a WSU shirt and when he told her why he was there, she named a few people on the team whom she knew. Baccellia said that stayed with him, and that he appreciated that everyone had the opportunity to know each other in the small area.
Among the coaches who left Baccellia with a particularly good view of the school were Mike Leach, area recruiter and outside linebackers coach Paul Volero, and receivers coaches Dennis Simmons and Dave Yost.
“I thought he was really cool. He was really laid back and he’s just my kind of guy,” Baccellia said of Leach. “He definitely knew what he was talking about. He’s obviously been in the game forever.”
As Baccellia evaluates his final three, he said he will be looking at who feels like the right fit, with the coaching staff and academics two other factors. He said he is undecided on a major.
Baccellia said his family will play a significant role in the choice he makes. He likes the proximity of the three schools in that they are not across the country from his hometown. His stepfather accompanied him on his visit to Pullman, and he said he has two cousins with NFL experience. Chris Carter is a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers and played in college at Fresno State. Baccellia’s other cousin, David Carter, played college football at UCLA and has spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys as a defensive tackle.
The 5-11, 170-pound Baccellia’s skills set seems like they match well with the Air Raid philosophy he would learn in the WSU system. As a junior, Baccellia hauled in 46 passes for 954 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, which was good enough to earn him the award of first-team Marmonte East.
Baccellia said he prefers the Air Raid in comparison to the offenses at UW and San Diego State.
Decision soon for WR choosing between WSU, UW
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