Get used to hearing Fofie Bazzie’s name
He has a unique first name, but it is a first name that is becoming familiar within the Colonial Athletic Association.
That’s because University of Maine free safety Fofie Bazzie currently leads the conference with 31 tackles and 10.33 tackles per game.
He posted a career-high 13 tackles in Saturday’s 31-26 win over Merrimack College. Bazzie is also tied for sixth in the conference in defended assists per game at 1.33 as he had four breakouts in three games.
Bazzie, a transfer from the University of Maryland, said Fofie is a last name.
“I got it from my grandfather, but I never met him,” Bazzie said. “My people come from Liberia in West Africa. I carry the name very close to me and I am very proud of it. It is truly unique. “
He is also very proud of his game.
“I’m very excited with the way I played, but I want to take my game to the next level,” Bazzie said. “There is more work to be done. I want to get more of the ball. I want to offer interceptions and more [pass] breaks for the team.
Even though he’s only been at Orono for a year, he’s already taken on a leadership role.
“He’s getting us ready to go,” said senior linebacker Adrian Otero. “He has this energy every day… mornings, meetings, everything.”
“I don’t know another guy on our team or anywhere who has as much energy as Fofie,” said first-year quarterback Derek Robertson. “He goes out every day and works.
Bazzie made his UMaine debut last spring and was involved in six tackles, including one for loss, while playing in two games. An elbow injury which he described as “abnormal” ended his season prematurely.
“I’m glad I was able to come back faster than expected and I’m healthy now,” he said.
The spring season was precious as he got the chance to play with his new teammates and get used to UMaine’s defensive pattern, Bazzie said. He immersed himself in learning the playbook when he arrived last fall.
“He’s a very energetic guy,” said UMaine head coach Nick Charlton. “He knows his strengths and knows where he needs to improve. He did a really good job against the run and in passing coverage. “
The 6-foot, 200-pound Bazzie grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, just 8 miles from the University of Maryland campus in College Park.
“I grew up watching University of Maryland football and I feel lucky to have been drafted into my hometown team,” Bazzie said. “Being able to play for and help your hometown team is unique.”
He was a red shirt in 2017 and appeared in one game in 2018 before playing seven games in 2019 and registering four tackles.
The Terrapins faced four of the top 20 teams in their 12 games in 2019.
He graduated in family science in three and a half years in Maryland and is working on a second bachelor’s degree at UMaine.
“I like working with children as well as with the elderly and helping them. I want to inspire them, ”Bazzie said.
His decision to come to the North to play football had a lot to do with Charlton and special teams coordinator / safety coach Jared Keyte.
“I knew there was good football here, a great school and a great community. I am blessed to be here. Love it here, ”said Bazzie, who earned a spot on the 2016 American Family Insurance All-USA Maryland team and was also a Washington Post All-Metro first-team pick while at Quince Orchard High. School in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
And when it comes to the seafood battle, Bazzie is true to his roots.
“I love lobster, but crabcakes will always win. I am a guy from Maryland.
UMaine, 1-2, visits the Northern Illinois Football Bowl Subdivision School, also 1-2, on Saturdays at 2:30 p.m.