Michael Calicchio, winner of the 2014 Tom Nicholich award presented by the Blue and Gold News for walk-on excellence, was awarded a scholarship by head coach Dana Holgorsen for the spring semester. That scholarship continued for the upcoming fall and spring semesters, marking the first time the redshirt senior has had a scholarship for an entire academic year. The 6-9, 315-pound back-up at right tackle, who noted he was able to take additional classes this summer because they were financed by WVU, is on schedule to graduate with a multidisciplinary studies degree emphasizing business administration.
Calicchio, who also paired communications and sports management minors with the business administration, has often spoken about his mental and social maturation while at in Morgantown, a place he calls his "second home" to his native Brooklyn. After leaving the program for one season in what he calls a "rash decision," Calicchio returned and, for the last two seasons, has been an exemplary leader and a prime example of the power of perseverance and positive attitude. Now called a team leader, Calicchio's steadfast approach has earned him playing time, respect of teammates and coaches, and lifelong friendships - and life lessons - that represent the best of collegiate athletics. Here, Calicchio talks about the scholarship, what it has meant to him, and his improvement and evolution as a person and player.
Fellow lineman Mark Glowinski, who Holgorsen called among the best lineman he has coached, rehashes the work and effort the unit has put into fall camp, his strength and conditioning, and the ability for reserves to play multiple positions as the Mountaineers move closer to the Aug. 30 opener against No. 2 Alabama.