Bloomington – One thing comforted Cincinnati Elder H.S. standout Pete Bachman after he suffered a broken leg against St. Edward's H.S. Sept. 26.
Sure, his senior season was lost, and he faced a rehab timetable that would be measured in months instead of days or weeks. But with both of his parents at his side at the hospital and distraught about their son's plight, Bachman lifted their spirits by looking to the future.
"When I was in the hospital bed, I told them the good news is I have more football to play," Bachman said.
That will be at Indiana, where he plan to sign a letter of intent in February. An early Hoosier commit last summer, the 6'5", 245-pound Bachman was in Bloomington last weekend for his official visit. Besides the usual array of academic and athletic meetings and tours that all official visitors take, Bachman also sat down with members of the IU staff know that by the time next fall arrives, he'll be back at 100 percent and ready to contribute in any way possible.
In fact, Bachman said he'll be rejoining the Elder basketball team next month, and recent doctor visits and x-rays have revealed that his recovery is ahead of schedule.
"By next fall, I'll be 100 percent and hopefully ready to kick ass and take names," Bachman said.
That's no small feat, considering the injury itself. Bachman described it as "the guy fell right through my leg and snapped it in half," so it's clear this was no minor injury. He said he'd seen a Cincinnati Elder H.S. junior varsity player suffer a similar injury the week before him, and as soon as it happened he knew his high school career was over.
Now, he's on schedule to be back to 100 percent by next fall, and he'll be preparing himself to be ready if called upon during his freshman season. While Indiana has redshirted most of its true freshmen in recent years, IU does lose both of its starting defensive ends and the staff has told him that he shouldn't assume he's going to be on the sidelines during his first season in Bloomington.
"One of the things (Coach Bill Lynch) said is to come in and be ready to play," Bachman said. "He said it's not 100 percent certain about redshirting. Something could happen, you could get really big, you could be better than expected, and then you could be starting before you know it. He said to be ready to play, and I'm going to take that mentality and it will push me."
While he played left tackle this past fall before suffering his injury, Bachman will return to defensive end when he gets to Bloomington. His move to left tackle at the prep level was necessitated by the graduation of five starters from Elder's 2008 offensive line, and the Indiana staff hasn't ruled out the idea of someday looking at him on that side of the ball. But for now, Bachman will call the defensive side of the ball home.
"I've played defensive end since third grade," Bachman said. "I was moved there in third grade and was mad about it then because back then I wanted to be a linebacker. But I've enjoyed it and I've played it ever since. I'm fine with either position, but I'm glad I'm getting a shot on defense. I prefer to chase guys down and make plays."
He'll get that chance next fall when he makes his return to the field during Indiana's fall camp. When that time comes he knows he'll be tested by the jump from the high school game to the college version. He also knows that there are probably some mental hurdles to clear as well, considering the broken leg was the first broken bone he's suffered in his life outside of a broken finger or two.
But he's confident that what he's doing between now and then will allow him accomplish that ahead of time.
"That's one of the reasons playing basketball – I can get (the mental part) out of the way now," Bachman said. "That way, I know when I get to IU that my body is 100 percent."
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