Each week we will feature a college football player who is either a member or an officer in a Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.
College: Colgate University
Height, weight, class, position: 6-0, 201 pounds, junior, wide receiver
High School: Kingston High School, Hurley, New York
About Jimmy DeCicco: A quarterback in high school, who started all four years, DeCicco has done a little bit of everything since arriving at Colgate in 2011. His freshman year he primarily returned kicks, but also caught a few passes and registered a couple carries accounting for more than 700 all-purpose yards. He continued that jack-of-all trades role as a sophomore. The president of the Uplifting Athletes chapter at Colgate was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll following his sophomore season. This year DeCicco is splitting time between receiver and running back with a few kick returns sprinkled in. He’s rushed for nearly 400 yards and has four touchdowns – including 141 on 22 carries with a pair of touchdowns against Cornell.
As a player, what is your favorite part of game day you get to experience at your home stadium?
DeCicco: I enjoy the freedom and the comfort that comes with playing at home. We have the ability to use the training room when we want and warm up on our own accord. Everything is familiar at home. You don’t get that kind of comfort when you play on the road.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
DeCicco: The most memorable experience for me as a college football player is winning the 2012 Patriot League championship. We beat Lehigh at their place in front of a sellout crowd and a nationally televised audience. I will remember that forever.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what if anything has this experience done for you?
DeCicco: As a freshman, I obviously admired the seniors on the team. I saw what they were doing with Uplifting Athletes and I immediately wanted to get involved. This stuff is bigger than football. To have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others while playing the game I love is truly invaluable.
What is the toughest team you’ve faced or regularly play and what makes them so difficult?
DeCicco: The toughest team we’ve played was probably Air Force. We opened this season at Air Force in front of the biggest crowd we’ve ever played in front of. The elevation made it tough to breath and the temperature on the field was 115 degrees. It was a tough atmosphere but, all in all, a great experience.
What is your chosen major, and what if anything have you used from that major as a contribution to your Uplifting Athletes Chapter?
DeCicco: I am a philosophy major. I obviously haven’t been able to apply the content of my major directly to our chapter. However, philosophy has made me a better problem solver and much more of a persuasive writer. Both attributes have been directly applied to our fundraising campaigns.
In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football?
DeCicco: I’d like to pursue a career that is meaningful. Whether it be making a difference in somebody else’s life, or contributing to the greater good of society. My experiences from Uplifting Athletes have been extremely rewarding, knowing that we’ve been able to make somebody’s life a little bit better.
Besides one of your teammates, name a college football player you enjoy watching?
DeCicco: I like watching Dri Archer from Kent State. He is an electrifying player that has the ability to make something happen every time he touches the ball.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
DeCicco: My favorite NFL player is Peyton Manning. He is always in control of the game. He’s not the most athletic player in the game but what he lacks in athleticism he makes up for in preparation which makes him fun to watch.
What was or is the inspiration for the Rare Disease your Uplifting Athletes Chapter is raising money for to be part of the fight?
DeCicco: Our former offensive line coach was diagnosed with Ependymoma during his time at Colgate. The guys on the team at the time decided to dedicate that year’s campaign to him. We partnered with CERN and have been raising money for the same cause ever since.
What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?
DeCicco: My favorite road stadium to play in is Stony Brook. It’s a smaller stadium but since the stands are so close to the field it feels like the crowd is right on top of you. We played in front of a record breaking crowd last season and the place was rockin’.