But coming out of college, Bazzie — who stood at 6 foot 1 and weighed just 228 pounds as an edge defensive lineman at Marshall — didn’t get a ton of attention from NFL scouts, so after going undrafted and then spending a little time out of position as a strongside linebacker with the Cleveland Browns, Bazzie decided to turn to the Canadian Football League to further develop his game.
The move certainly paid off. After three successful seasons with the BC Lions — totaling 83 tackles, 29 sacks and two forced fumbles — Bazzie on Monday was signed by the Indianapolis Colts to a reserve/future contract.
Now up to 6 foot 2 and 240 pounds, Bazzie hopes to catch on this offseason and earn a spot with the Colts’ defense, which is in major need of some pass rushers after the retirement of all-time-great
What’s odd about Bazzie, however, is that he really hadn’t been able to put himself on the map until he made a huge hit on a current Colts Pro Bowler.
Bazzie, who joined the Marshall program as a walk-on, hadn’t played much on defense the first three years with the Thundering Herd, and was used more primarily on special teams. But at the end of his redshirt sophomore season in 2011, he was able to deliver this hit on then Florida Atlantic star
Hilton, of course, had already established himself as a college superstar, and was destined to be an early-round NFL Draft pick (he would be selected by the Colts in the third round in 2012).
But Bazzie described to Thunder In Paradise why that play, in particular, was so important to him and his team in that game, which Marshall would end up winning, 20-10:
“Before the game, we kind of took all of the talk surrounding T.Y. Hilton personal,” Bazzie said. “The film showed how important he was to their team and the things they wanted to do. I didn’t get a lot of snaps that year, but I knew I had an opportunity to affect the game and put a good hit on him. Nothing dirty or anything like that, but when I saw him back there, I knew I was going to fly down there and hit him in the mouth.”
While the Colts coaches probably appreciate the attitude out of Bazzie, I’m sure they’d appreciate him refraining from attempting to make similar hits on Hilton during their time together on the practice field in the coming months.
Anyway, to get a better idea of what Bazzie brings to the field for the Colts, check out this and this, which are highlight packages of Bazzie’s last couple seasons in the CFL (also, keep in mind that defensive linemen must line up a yard off the ball in this league, making his numbers even more impressive):