This season, University of Mary football fans may have noticed No. 6 lined up at wide receiver. Well, that was Leo Vecchi, who is from Italy and just completed his first season as a Marauder.
Vecchi said he studied three languages while growing up in Italy.
“I speak two very good,” Vecchi said.
“Italian, English. Italian is my first language. My second language is English and French. I’ve studied French for a very long time.”
Vecchi’s hometown is Bergamo, which is about 50 minutes northeast of Milan. He said being away from family has been one of the hardest challenges.
“Definitely hard,” Vecchi said. “Economically, the flight is very expensive.”
Earlier this year, when the Marauders faced St. Cloud Stae, Vecchi’s family got to watch him play.
“[My family] has not gotten to see my play football in like three years,” Vecchi said.
“Back in Italy when I was playing they never missed a game. Here, you know they couldn’t really come and watch a game so it was very emotional for me and for them for sure.”
Vecchi arrived here from Butte Community College in California, which has several connections to U-Mary.
“We saw Leo’s tape,” Bagnell said.
“He had a guy in front of him that was a four-star [recruit] he went to like [the University of California at Berkley]. He was the next guy in line so he was a little overlooked.”
This year, Vecchi amassed 324 yards and two touchdowns.
“I’m confident in myself,” Vecchi said.
“I was confident before. I’m very confident in my abilities. I’m very thankful for the opportunity they gave me here.”
In the classroom, Vecchi is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business.