One of the most valuable traits within the realm of recruiting for college coaches is maintaining the talent within their state‘s borders.
Les Miles has done well at landing most of Louisiana’s top prospects during his tenure with the Tigers and he is off to a good start in 2011 as he accepted two verbal commitments from Redemptorist High School products La’el Collins and Jeremy Hill.
Another in-state talent for 2011 Miles will attempt to capture is South Plaquemines High School receiver Bradley Sylve (5-11, 175, 4.3).
As a sophomore, Sylve hauled in 45 passes for 1,174 yards and 13 touchdowns while helping his team to a state championship. Those numbers resulted in early offers in September from programs such as LSU, Alabama, Stanford, California and Tennessee.
Sylve hoped a stellar junior season would reel in even more offers, but a foot injury – torn ligament in his foot – he suffered in the season opener against Belle Chasse sidelined him for the entire season. However, Sylve claims it has not completely paralyzed him.
“We play in the third round of the playoffs against Oberlin this Friday,” Sylve informed. “They’re good, but we’re going to win it all again this year. I already know it. I haven’t been able to play since the first five minutes of our first game this year because I hurt my foot, but I’m supposed to go to the doctor on Jan. 5 to see about getting the screws taken out. Then I’ll have the boot taken off after that and I’ll start rehabbing.”
It’s been tough for Sylve to watch his teammates play on Friday nights but the tough part is about to begin when he embarks on the rehab process. Being on the field would have certainly helped with Sylve’s development but rather than get down he made the best of the situation.
“It’s tough not being out there with my team because my goal was to play all my years of high school,” Sylve added. “I never thought I would get injured like this, but I’ve been using it to my advantage. I’ve learned a lot from watching the games from the sideline.
“I’ve been able to see what the offense and the other receivers are doing wrong and I get to see what the defenses are doing against us. And even though I can’t do lower body, I’ve still been hitting the weights hard so I haven’t lost any upper body strength.”
After his team’s recent 48-6 playoff win over Varnado, Sylve spent Saturday afternoon watching a little college football that featured one of the schools at the top of his list.
“I think LSU should’ve won,” Sylve expressed. “Once they completed that long pass at the end of the game I think they should have gotten the field goal unit on the field while the referees were spotting the football. I don’t know what happened out there.”
Despite the loss, Sylve says his opinion on the Tigers has not changed.
“LSU is still my No. 1 team,” he continued. “I really started liking them more after I was there for the Florida game and nothing has changed since then. I’m not going to make a decision any time soon, though.
“I’m going to wait until my senior year, but LSU is the only school that I stay in touch with the coaches from. I talk to them like every other week so right now I could definitely see myself going there. I feel real comfortable with LSU.”
While it seems Sylve has a good idea of where he will be spending his college days, he is still unsure of when he will enroll.
“I was talking to coach [Larry] Porter and I was telling him how I might graduate early and try to go to college in the spring,” Sylve stated. “Part of me wants to do it, but then a part of me doesn’t. I would like to because then I could get started on football right away leading into the summer, but then I wouldn’t want to because I wouldn’t be able to run track for my school and track is important to me.”
Sylve, the state’s top sprinter on the Class A level, says he will miss the indoor track season but he hopes to be back for the outdoor season a little later in the spring of 2010. Track is a big part of his life and he hopes to be a dual-sport athlete when he moves on to college.
“I think I’m going to try to run track in college too,” Sylve said, who runs a 10.3 in the 100-meters. “The LSU coaches said I could and I heard LSU has one of the best track coaches in the country so that’s another bonus with them.”