2016-07-22 / Sports
Bachman is back
Moorpark native ready for breakout season with Demon Deacons
Bachman, an incoming sophomore receiver for Wake Forest University’s football team, played sparingly last season.
The former Oaks Christian High standout receiver saw plenty of action on special teams. The 20-year-old is focused on making his mark on offense this fall.
“I’m fighting for a starting position,” the Moorpark native said. “I’m hoping to contribute and be a go-to receiver for my quarterbacks this year. I want to transform into the best athlete I can be, as well as the best human being I can be off the field.”
The 6-foot, 187-pound slot receiver secured his first catch as a Demon Deacon in last year’s Sept. 3 season opener against Elon University. The Elon secondary gave Wake Forest receivers plenty of space off the line of scrimmage, so Bachman answered with an 8-yard reception on a hitch route. Quarterback Kendall Hinton made the throw.
“It was cool to make my first career catch with her in the stands,” Bachman said. “I know she was pretty proud. Hopefully, I can get a couple more this season with more family members on the sideline.”
Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford, who is entering his junior season, said Bachman has become one of the most respected players on the team. Bachman’s tight routes, sure hands and tireless work ethic make him a reliable target.
“Ever since he got here, everyone’s gained a tremendous amount of respect for his work ethic,” Wolford said. “Every time we go out to throw, he’s always putting in the extra work. It’s been constant improvement. It comes because of his work ethic.”
Former Oaks Christian head coach Bill Redell said Bachman worked hard on his craft in high school. Redell described Bachman as a talented athlete who could play both sides of the ball, especially on offense.
“He’s not a blinding fast guy, but he has good speed and he runs really good patterns,” Redell said of Bachman. “He knows how to read coverages, and he knows how to get himself open. He’ll find a hole where a quarterback can get it to him. He’s a physical kid. He plays bigger than he is.”
He helped Demon Deacons head coach Dave Clawson, who is entering his third year at the helm, win his first Atlantic Coast Conference game, a 3-0 win against Boston College on Oct. 10.
Bachman also got the chance to play in front of 81,577 screaming Clemson fans on Nov. 21. Wake Forest played Notre Dame in front of more than 80,000 fans at South Bend, Ind., but Bachman missed the trip with a concussion. Many members of Bachman’s family, including his father, David, made the trip to South Bend, but Alex Bachman was back on campus in his dorm room.
He was glad to experience the roar of the crowd at Clemson’s Death Valley.
“The atmosphere there was something I’d never seen before,” he said. “The ground was shaking. They were ranked No. 1 in the country and it was their last home game. I couldn’t even hear myself think. It was a crazy atmosphere.”
Bachman said he’s gotten better at believing he has what it takes to beat elite ACC cornerbacks. He’s learned to adjust his routes based on the opposing team’s schemes.
Timing and running precise, crisp routes are crucial in the college game.
“You and your quarterback have to be on the same page to get open,” Bachman said. “I’m just trying to pick up speed and strength to help make catches. I’m looking forward to getting more in-game experience and catching balls against more ACC corners.”
Los Angeles Rams linebacker Brandon Chubb, an undrafted rookie out of Wake Forest, said Bachman has the talent and mindset to make an impact on the football field as a sophomore.
“He’s a ‘grass is greener on the other side’ kind of guy,” Chubb said of his former teammate. “He’s never negative. He’s a guy that loves working out and is excited for practice. He’s great to be around.”
Chubb, who calls Bachman “Bieber” because of his resemblance to the pop singer, said he has no doubts fans will start noticing Bachman.
“I definitely think he’ll make an impact, for sure,” Chubb said. “He got a taste of it by playing as a true freshman. He’s definitely a rising star as a sophomore. I think he’ll see a lot more action as a slot (receiver). I’m definitely expecting something big out of him this year.”
The Demon Deacons are currently busy lifting weights four times a week. The athletes also attend player-led practices, which include catching and footwork drills, and 7-on-7 games.
Wolford said he has high hopes for his budding star.
“I definitely think he’ll be a contributor,” Wolford said of Bachman. “He had a good spring, and he’ll be vying for that starting slot receiver position.
“The competition will bring out the best in him. When you know the offense like Alex does, and are as talented as he is, he’s going to find a way to get on the field.”
Email Jonathan Andrade at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get to know Alex Bachman
Former Oaks Christian High football standout Alex Bachman is gearing up to make an impact as a sophomore receiver on the Wake Forest University offense. The 6-foot slot receiver played 11 games as a true freshman, snagging one reception for eight yards against Elon University in his first college game. Learn more about the Moorpark native:
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Novel: “Call of the Wild”
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