Kaneland Dylan Calabrese (46) wraps up Lake Forest Daniel Flusser (45) in the fourth quarter and brings him down during week two playoffs.
Kaneland Dylan Calabrese (46) wraps up Lake Forest Daniel Flusser (45) in the fourth quarter and brings him down during week two playoffs. — David Toney - For Shaw Media

Dylan Calabrese had at least one offer to continue his career as a linebacker from a NCAA Division III school.

But the Kaneland senior decided to pursue playing the sport as a long snapper and committed to Western Michigan late last week.

It wasn't only the allure of playing at a DI school that led to the decision.

"I'm not saying big picture I'm going to end up in the NFL," Calabrese said. "But it's the better career option for me to have a longer career. Even in college, it's just better on my body in terms of long-term health."

Calabrese led the Knights with 76 tackles and added seven tackles for a loss. He said he's ready for the switch from defense to full-time special teams as a long snapper.

"Yeah, it's going to be different," said Calabrese, who's been long snapping since seventh grade. "But it's just one of those things you get used to. It's ... just something to stay active in the sport."

The Broncos finished 7-6 last year, making a bowl game and losing to Western Kentucky. They were fighting for a shot at the Mid-American Conference West Division title until losing in the final week of the year to Northern Illinois, 17-14.

Calabrese said there were multiple factors that drew him to Kalamazoo.

"I went on a visit there, and the campus is really nice," Calabrese said. "Obviously, I was going to make sure they had everything I need academically as well as athletically. They have a great program for communications. The campus was nice. The coaching staff was super nice as well. Everything was good."