By Chris Metcalf, LCAA’s Finest
The former Geneseo HS standout has been taking that to another level collegiately, playing linebacker at Morrisville College.
He’s definitely making his mark on defense for the Mustangs, leading not only his team on that side of the ball with 70 tackles but also ranked second individually in the Empire 8 and also in the top 10 at the entire NCAA D-III level.
Incredibly, Salvaggio is 15 tackles ahead of Morrisville’s second-leading tackler this season.
Morrisville is 2-4 on the season following Saturday’s close 14-10 loss at Alfred in a game where Salvaggio led the squad with 13 tackles, including seven solo stops.
A year ago, Morrisville catapulted into the D-III spotlight finishing their season 7-4, which included beating nationally-ranked Hobart (24-13) along with St. John Fisher (10-3) and Alfred (36-0).
The Mustangs’ defense received a fantastic effort from the then-sophomore Salvaggio, who had 58 tackles, one interception and a forced fumble.
In 2022, Morrisville’s defense allowed just 11 points per game, easily a program record.
During the off-season, Salvaggio was voted a team captain by his teammates, something his head coach didn’t even think twice about.
“We vote for captains, and his teammates deemed him worthy,” Morrisville head coach Edward Raby said. “I was not surprised. Evan cares about the team and program deeply. He displays great leadership traits and backs up what he says with actions.”
Salvaggio was up for the challenge and accepted it with great appreciation.
“When I heard I was voted captain, I was very excited about the opportunity to take charge of something that I love to do,” he said. “When you’re able to do something that you love, it is good enough, but then getting voted in a position to show and lead people to do the same is a very unique and special thing which I do not take for granted.”
While he loved running the ball in high school, which he did extremely well, Salvaggio loves to hit the running back even more.
“ It’s a very important position for the fact that you are usually expected to make the bulk of the tackles,” he said. “A defensive back, they have fewer opportunities to make plays, which makes their job a problem of its own. Linebacker carries its own problems, like dealing with bigger and faster guys, especially at the college level; it’s so important to develop in the weight room and knowledge of the game. ”
Coach Raby says Salvaggio’s football IQ on the field is a huge asset.
“First and foremost, he knows just about every position,” Raby said. “His knowledge of the game is outstanding, and he can direct traffic. He is also one of our top playmakers. We aim to get him position to be around the ball as much as possible.”
That has obviously been working.
With still a season and a half to go in his career, coach Raby expects big things out of Salvaggio.
“We expect maximum effort, which I know he will give,” Raby said. “He is doing a great job leading, so we want that to continue as well.”
Salvaggio was a one-man wrecking crew during his days at Geneseo High School, leading both the LCAA in tackles (102) and total yards from scrimmage (1,273) during his senior year. He averaged nearly 15 tackles every game. He also scored 10 TDs that season.
As a junior, he led the way with 105 tackles averaging 13 tackles per contest.
While Geneseo sits about 140 miles from Morrisville, Evan really enjoys the college life at his new residence.
“Morrisville is a special place to me for many reasons, but what I enjoy the most are the people here,” he said. “I have met my best friends who share the same goals as me, and that is to win. As a football player in college, life looks a lot different compared to a regular student. It is a twenty-four-seven grind to keep up with school, football, and your body. If I’m not at practice, meetings, or school, I am taking care of my body in many ways, like seeing the trainers working on nagging things and gaining strength in certain areas so I can be the best possible player on Saturdays.”
He was thrilled to showcase his talent on Saturday against Alfred.
“I was beyond excited to represent Morrisville at Alfred (Saturday). It is always great to play games close to home, see family and friends, and show out for Section Five.”
His future goals include finishing his degree next year, majoring in Renewable Energy, and get dubs every Saturday afternoon.
Sounds like a great plan.
“ My goal/goals, like any, is to win the next game,” he said. “The goal is to go 1-0 every week. I am currently in Renewable Energy here at Morrisville, so my plans post-college are to get into my field and get a job as a solar sales representative, where I will continue to learn to connect and help problem solve with challenges faced.”
If his post-football career goes anything like his current situation, number 32 is going to hit it hard.
Just like every Saturday afternoon.