A little known fact about little known Tang Bacheyie is that his name has a special place in his family’s native village in Ghana.
According to the Argos linebacker, the name Tang (pronounced Tongue) honours an uncle, who bears the name of a hill.
“Tang Hill,’’ began Bacheyie (pronounced Baw-chee-ay). “Back in our family village in Ghana, it’s a special hill.”
Which aptly describes Bacheyie’s maturity in his first full season in the CFL.
The hill Bacheyie had to climb was a knee injury he suffered last season, a setback that cost him the entire season after Bacheyie was acquired by the Argos from the B.C. Lions.
Special is just one of the adjectives that best describes Bacheyie, a 6-foot-1 athletic specimen who can line up on either side of the ball, can run out of backfield, run routes as a receiver, line up in the defensive secondary or be used as a linebacker when the Argos go to a 3-4 look on passing situations.
So far so good, six games into a rookie season for a kid who oozes humility.
“It was tough last year, not playing and everything, but it’s been very exciting this season,’’ said Bacheyie, 25, who played his collegiate football at the University of Kansas.
“I’ve just been so much hungrier this season, feeling good and loving the way our team comes out every day at practice.
“Something very good is going on with this organization and it’s good to be a part of it.”
Say what you want on how the Argos have arrived at 4-2, but this feel-good spirit that resonates around the team is genuine.
Football still comes down to execution, but the words expressed by Bacheyie have echoed by players with considerably more experience and cache than the Windsor native.
Because of his versatility, Bacheyie believes he can be used either in pass defence or in stopping the run.
Given the nature of his job description, more often than not Bacheyie gets inserted into games based on down and distance.
“I just want to make plays,’’ he said. “I’ll play all over the field if need be. I’ve always been versatile.
“I know some players don’t like it, but being versatile helps when you play defence because I can react much faster. When a lineman pulls, I know what he’s trying to do.”
A backup on the depth chart, Bacheyie is viewed as a starter because he’s likely to get a lot of snaps.
It’s often been said that a CFL team is only as good as its Canadian talent, an area that has helped in getting the Argos off to their start.
Bacheyie is part of that Canadian connection, even though his family roots are in Ghana.
“I was very proud of the way Ghana played at the World Cup,’’ he said.
Needless to say, the Argos coaching staff is proud at the way Bacheyie has performed.