It took a little longer than expected, but DeCicco appears finally ready to come to Wisconsin. Badger Nation has learned barring any last minute change, DeCicco will transfer from Pittsburgh and commit to the University of Wisconsin.
"I am going up this weekend for a visit and we'll go from there," DeCicco told Badger Nation Tuesday night. "I am going up to see how everything goes, see what the coaches say and pretty much go from there."
DeCicco (6-5, 240 pounds from Thomas Jefferson (PA) High) will have to sit out the upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules. DeCicco will have two years of eligibility remaining.
"I am pretty confident that I'll be wearing a Wisconsin uniform next year," he said.
Narrowing his list down to Iowa, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin in October 2008, DeCicco loved the Badgers' coaching staff, the tradition, and how offensive coordinator Paul Chryst used the tight ends in his offense, but the former four-star tight end and the No.7 tight end in his recruiting class by Scout.com could never schedule a visit.
When he eventually had the opportunity, DeCicco realized he didn't want to be far from home and wanted to play college football with his older brother, Dom. That was then, and times have changed.
DeCicco's coach, Dave Wannstedt, was forced to resign and wasn't a real fit in Todd Graham's new three-back system. Ironically, it was Zach Brown that fit better than DeCicco, as the former Wisconsin running back's play resulted in DeCicco getting fewer and fewer reps as the Panthers' practices continued. So in an odd twist, the Badgers traded a backup running back for a stud tight end.
After redshirting in 2009 as a true freshman, DeCicco played in 13 games (three starts) last season for the Panthers, who went 8-5 overall and 5-2 in the Big East. DeCicco had two catches for 19 yards on the season, but both went for scores, including a 13-yard touchdown in a 27-10 win over Kentucky in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
"I have a lot to do to prove myself and show that I belong there," DeCicco said. "I am going in and try to earn respect from my players and coaches."
With the commitment of DeCicco, the grayshirt of Eric Steffes and the commitment of 2013 TE Scott Orndoff, the Badgers gain some flexibility with the tight end position in their limited 2012 signing class.