VALPARAISO | Dave Cecchini knew finding a blocking tight end would be integral to the success of Valparaiso’s Class of 2014 recruiting class. The first-year coach didn’t have to look very far.
Whiting senior Tom Dabertin committed to the Crusaders this week and the former offensive lineman is excited for the opportunity to not only stay close to home, but also switch to tight end.
“I couldn’t have been more excited than when they told me that I could play tight end,” Dabertin said. “That’s the position I always wanted to play. At Whiting I was always a little bit bigger than the rest of the guys, so I played left tackle. Tight end is the position I really want to play.”
Cecchini’s offense, which had plenty of success at Lehigh, utilizes the tight end as somewhat of an additional offensive lineman, and Cecchini believes Dabertin is just right for the job.
“He’s a little undersized for the offensive line, but he’s a very good blocker,” Cecchini said. “He’s athletic and we’re very excited to have Tom here. We’re trying to raise the Northwest Indiana presence, but Tom is a guy that we would’ve recruited regardless of where he’s from.”
Dabertin is hoping to become the next Whiting product to star for the Crusaders. Valparaiso Hall of Fame wide receiver Rob Giancola played for the Oilers and has his name all over the Crusader record book. Giancola is the career leader in receiving yards (3,804) and touchdowns (40).
Dabertin was one of three recruits that Cecchini announced on Thursday afternoon. The first-year coach is still putting the finishing touches on his initial recruiting class while the returning players are gearing up for the start of spring practice early next month.
“I’m very excited with where we’re at considering we missed out on almost the entire month of December,” Cecchini said. “We’ve worked with almost half the time. I’ve been really impressed with how many players we’ve brought to campus for a visit that ended up committing to our program. We’re itching to get back on the field and get this started.”