"It wasn't because the facilities or the competition or anything like that," he said. "It's funny, but I was so close to home, but I didn't feel like I was at home. I felt like I was at home here."
The C.W. Post season ended before WVU's did in 2011, which meant Calicchio had time to watch the Orange Bowl against Clemson. He wanted to be as happy as his former teammates, but he couldn't do it.
"The fact we won and blew them out was awesome, but what hurt the most was not being able to be a part of that team experience," he said. "Not being a part of, 'Wow, we did this together and we accomplished something they didn't think we'd be able to do,' that broke my heart a little bit."
Calicchio knew those opportunities weren't available at C.W. Post. He decided to travel to WVU, meet with Coach Dana Holgorsen and ask for a second chance. Holgorsen welcomed Calicchio to his office, but left it up to offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.
Bedenbaugh had some questions and Calicchio gave him answers. By the end of their meeting, Calicchio was part of the Mountaineers again. NCAA rules make a player who transfers from Division I to Division II to Division I again sit out a season, but Calicchio didn't care.
"I was just glad they took me back because it was an immature thing I did," he said. "They turned out to be real nice people and I learned in the future you have to talk to someone first before you jump to conclusions. I realized this coaching staff, even through the changes and the people we have now, are great people. They want to give you the best opportunity to help yourself."
Calicchio's spot on the offensive line is hard to see because he's not a starter and, realistically, he's not pushing seniors Nick Kindler and Pat Eger for a backup spot. No one, though, is pushing Calicchio at middle shield, which was precisely why special teams coordinator Joe DeForest put him there.
He saw a player with a wingspan greater than seven feet wide and decided on the first day of special teams work during spring practice to give it a chance.
"You get a big guy. They're going to run into you with big people. Don't let them run through you," DeForest said. "It's not rocket science."
It's not, but there are some things to remember and Calicchio picked them up quickly. There are just two calls, one to signal pressure to the right and one to signal pressure to the left, and that's something the shield can predict based on alignment before the snap.
It happens so fast that punt block teams and punt return teams can't get too exotic. There are no stunts or twists up front. There are fewer occasions today when a punt block unit will gamble with aggression and risk giving up a long return.
"Mostly you just blast the first people who come through," he said. "You stone them and throw them down and that's really it."
With punting and field position being so important to defenses in the extraordinarily offensive Big 12, it's critical to give the punter time, space and peace of mind. It's more important that the players in the shield realize their value.
"He takes real pride in it," DeForest said. "It matters to him. He's not going to get a lot of reps on the offensive line, but he takes pride in being a starter on punt. That's what we're looking for. Let's be honest: No one wants to play special teams.
"We've got to convince them it's an integral part of the game. It's our job as coaches to motivate guys to want to be specialists. You're a third-team tackle. How can you contribute to this team? Be the best middle shield in the country."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.