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Former Rocklin resident to play for New York in UFL

Quarterback C.J. Bacher threw for over 7,300 yards at Northwestern
By: Russ Edmondson, The Placer Herald
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Quarterback C.J. Bacher, who grew up in Rocklin, will play for the New York Sentinels in the first season of the United Football League. Bacher played four years at Northwestern University in Illinois and New York drafted him in June. He threw for 7,319 yards, 43 touchdowns and 43 interceptions at Northwestern in 28 career starts (16-12 record). Bacher, who attended Jesuit High in Carmichael, played in 23 games over the final two years at Northwestern. He passed for 6,088 yards, 36 touchdowns and 34 interceptions in those two seasons while also combining to rush for seven touchdowns. The 6-foot-2 and 210-pound quarterback led the team to the Valero Alamo Bowl as a senior. Missouri beat Northwestern 30-23 in that game but Bacher put up some big numbers (27-of-43 passing for 304 yards, three touchdowns, one interception). “Personally I had a better statistical year my junior season but the goal as a team is to win games and we put together a good plan and our leadership stepped up senior year,” Bacher said. “We had a very productive season and it was very fun.” Bacher actually earned his degree in June of 2008 and was enrolled in graduate school during his senior season. The UFL season is scheduled to begin in October and Bacher will report to training camp with his new teammates on Sept. 12. This premier season will be just six games and there are only four teams in the league (New York, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco). Bacher, who will turn 24 in September, was hoping to be drafted in April’s NFL draft. “There were a lot of workouts leading up to pro day on March 12 and then you just sit and wait and workout a little,” Bacher said. “And then the draft rolled around and nobody on Northwestern got drafted.” Bacher didn’t know what to expect during the two-day NFL draft. “I honestly didn’t know where I was projected,” he said. “I was expecting to get a free-agent deal or a contract but I still had a shot with the (Chicago) Bears as an unsigned guy and that was a good thing. Ron Turner, the offensive coordinator for the Bears, helped me out a little with the UFL. He called them and put in a good word.” Following the draft, Bacher signed with the Chicago Bears on a tryout basis and participated in a three-day rookie training camp. “(The Bears) brought in three quarterbacks and not four from training camp so I looked elsewhere,” Bacher said. “I had a tryout in Vegas for the UFL and got drafted and it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster since then. I’ve been working out and getting ready. “I honestly won’t know (my role) until I get down there. They are bringing in a guy from the Jaguars (Quinn Gray) and Brian Johnson from (the University of) Utah and probably another (quarterback) who gets cut (from a NFL team).” Gray, who is a former Jaguar, and Johnson have signed with New York. The Sentinels will play their home games in New York but the team will actually live in Vero Beach, Florida. Bacher’s goal is still to play in the NFL one day. “That is the point of this league – be a platform for players trying to get back in the NFL or get their first shot,” Bacher said. “I’m definitely happy this league (UFL) is around or my football career might be over.”