Dependable Cavicante set for senior season at DSU

DSU’s Brian Cavicante has been a starter in all 33 games he’s played. Photo courtesy of Delaware State Athletics.

DOVER — If college coaches did not know who Brian Cavicante was five years ago, they sure do now.

Set for his senior season at Delaware State University, Cavicante was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

“It’s surreal,” Cavicante said. “I’m not sure how many people know this, but I had no Division I offers out of high school. I worked my way up to get here.”

What other programs missed out on has been Delaware State’s gain.

Cavicante hasn’t missed a game since he stepped foot on campus. The linebacker started the first game of his freshman season in 2016 and is up to 33 straight starts for the Hornets.

Cavicante almost never lined up on defense.

He was a running back for most of his high school career at Norcom High in Portsmouth, Va. It wasn’t until his senior season that he slotted in at linebacker on occasion.

With no scholarship offers, Cavicante elected to attend one year of prep school at Milford Academy in New York. It was there that the coaching staff decided to make him a full-time linebacker.

Delaware State was his first and only scholarship offer out of prep school and Cavicante sure made the most out of it.

“I always imagined it and thought I could do great things if I put my mind to it,” Cavicante said. “I never sold my self short. A lot of times, I wanted to give up but I had my family and friends telling me to keep pushing.”

Cavicante was second in the MEAC in total tackles with 89 as a junior last year. He also finished second in tackles-for-loss (17) and was third in solo tackles (50).

That earned him a spot on the All-MEAC First Team at the conclusion of the season — the first Hornet since Gabe Sherrod in 2015 to be named on the first team.

Cavicante’s preseason award was the first Preseason of the Year award for a Delaware State player since wide receiver Justin Wilson in 2011.

Second-year coach Rod Milstead said he thinks it will help Cavicante take him game to another level.

“You got a bullseye on your back now,” Milstead said he told Cavicante. “If I’m an offensive lineman, I’m looking for you. Why? Because I can make a name off you.”

“He knows he has to step his game up,” Milstead continued. “He knows he can’t play the same way he did last year because that won’t be good enough. He’s been stepping up in practice, showing leadership on and off the field.”

The 6-foot, 200-pound Cavicante enters his senior season with 233 tackles in his career so far.

“Some people say he’s undersized but that’s fine,” Milstead said. “He makes up for that with his aggressiveness. He’s a very smart football player. We’re very fortunate to have him for one more year. I wish I could have him for a couple more. But we’re going to take advantage of him as much as possible while he’s here.”

Cavicante has been a mainstay in the lineup as the Hornets attempt to rebuild their football program.

He played through a winless season as a freshman before winning just twice as a sophomore. The Hornets improved to three wins last season and Cavicante is hopeful this is when the Hornets can put it all together.

“This is the year,” Cavicante said. “We’ve taken steps every year I’ve been here. I think all that work will show this year.”

Follow @TimMastroDSN on Twitter.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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