After committing to Pittsburgh over Wisconsin and spending two years for the Panthers, including playing in 13 games with his two catches going for touchdowns last season, DeCicco left a bad situation and decided to transfer to his other top recruiting choice.
Transforming his body to become a solid tight end, the former four-star recruit will have two years of eligibility remaining.
After Tuesday's practice, DeCicco spoke with Badgernation.com about the strides he's made since arriving on campus just prior to the 2011 season.
BN: Talk about coming here and trying to fit in right away. How was the transfer process for you coming here?
DeCicco: It's been easy because the coaches are awesome and the players on the team are awesome. I was real pumped to come in here. I expected it to be a big, big challenge, but it's been real comfortable because of how the coaches and the players have taken me in. I've just been working real hard.
BN: Coach Joe Rudolph was your lead recruiter when you went through the recruiting process the first time. Now he is your position coach, how has that relationship developed?
DeCicco: I'd say it's developed a lot more. I always had a good connection with him getting recruited. The reason I didn't come here was it was too far away from home. I have a better connection with football, knowing him better and knowing all the players in the tight end room now.
BN: What's it like for you learning an offensive system that is so reliant on the tight ends and that you'll have an opportunity in spring to compete for a spot opposite Jacob Pedersen?
DeCicco: That's one of the main reasons I wanted to come here. They use their tight ends so much and really gets me excited because the position is tailored to a way I like to play the game.
BN: How have you improved your body working under strength coach Ben Herbert, who is a Pennsylvania, blue-collared guy like yourself? What has that been like and how have you changed?
DeCicco: I would say that whenever the new coaching staff came in at Pittsburgh that just left, they ran a spread offense that was fast and my weight adjusted. I was down to 235 pounds. Now, I am around 245 pounds and I have gotten stronger and bigger. It's the biggest I have ever been and I feel good at the weight I am carrying.
BN: You obviously have a lot of friends still on the Pittsburgh team. It's it hard seeing what they are going through with the coach up and leaving the way he did?
DeCicco: I feel bad for them but I am more focused on what's going on here now that I am here. That's all I really care about now.
DeCicco: Those games were just awesome. I wish I could have come up during high school to see one of those games because they were exciting to be a part of. It definitely would be nice to go myself to the Rose Bowl, but right now it's about getting those guys in the best shape they can be in to beat Oregon. Hopefully, they can go out there and do that.
BN: Being on the scout team offense and being in charge for running an up-tempo Ducks offense, how challenging has it been for you guys to work at a faster pace?
DeCicco: It's just fast. The coaches are just yelling out the play and we are just getting out there and going. It's fast paced, faster than normal. They want us to get up and go, get on our assignment with good technique. It hasn't been too much of a challenge because the coaches have gotten us prepared for it.
BN: What's the big challenge for you between now and the start of spring football when you are involved in the two deep? What's the thing you want to accomplish?
DeCicco: The main thing is hitting the weight room, get strong, get big and just add a little weight. I want to put myself in the best position to earn a spot.
BN: When you look at the position you are in now, do you wish you would have come here originally or do you like the path you have taken?
DeCicco: I have definitely appreciated the whole thing and the path I have taken. I am just really happy that I am here now.