For Steve, the roud from Naples, Fla. to Illinois was not the road that he probably predicted. Out of high school he committed to Illinois only to not have the test score that would allow him to secure a spot in that year's class.
Since being placed at William Rainey Harper (Ill.) Junior College by Illinois, he shined on the field, when he was on the field. "I actually got hurt in the second game of the season this year. I played the third game and then I didn't play again until the bowl game."
"Right before I got hurt I had 27 tackles, 15 of them were solo, and four sacks. We won in the bowl game. I had about 15 tackles in that game. Probably about eight of them solo and three tackles for loss."
The injury this past season is an interesting story to hear from Octavien. A knee injury, it was first suspected that he had tore a ligament and cartilage. "It was a real bad hyperextension. We went in for an MRI and they told me about the tears. When I went in for surgery they didn't find anything wrong with me knee. No torn cartilage and no torm ligament. Went in for a bone scan and come to find out that it was just a deep bruise."
"So maybe last year is getting me the attention? I had 124 tackles and I missed a game. I had eight sacks, three interceptions, two blocked field goals and a blocked punt. That is what really helped me out. I had a lot of good game footage."
That marvelous play his first year and when he was on the field this year has yielded 11 offers for Octavien. However, only one of them is in writing as of this moment.
"I have 11. The written offer is from Kansas. I know all of them; Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, Purdue, Iowa, Indiana, Central Florida, East Carolina, New Mexico, North Carolina and Toledo."
When it comes to picking a college for the second time Illinois will not be on the list. Strangely after being placed, a dismal season last year and the runor of changeover in the coaching ranks they have not recruited Octavien since going to a junior college.
"I really don't know. I committed to them and they told me I had until June to pass the test. I passed my test in June and I was told that they didn't have any more scholarships, so they sent me out here to Rainey. They told me that after a year that they were going to pick me up."
"I had a pretty good season last year. They didn't pick me up and told me that I was pretty average. They said after looking at the film that I was just an average player. I haven't heard from them all year. To tell you the truth even if they were recruiting me I'm not interested. I didn't understand it either. They were 1-10 last year and their win was against a IAA school. Their recruiting class wasn;t that great last year either."
"When it comes to picking out another college, my number one thing is going to be my degree. I am going to major in business management. I am looking for a school with a good program so I can get my degree. Then I would look at the coaching staff. I would really like a nice coaching staff. I was blessed throughout my life to have good coachign staffs. Then it would be the environment, the school environment. I'm not really concerned about location, or school prestige, and all that stuff. I just want to come in feel comfortable and feel like I made a good choice."
So what is next for Octavien with the season and the bowl game over? He is a January enrollee who can be ready to participate in spring practices at a four year institution. Over the next three to four weeks Octavien will visit six campuses by taking his five official visits and one unofficial.
"I am taking a visit to Central Florida tomorrow through Sunday. I down to Nebraska on Thanksgiving Day for the Colorado game. After that I have a visit down to Kansas. The last two visits, I am kind of waiting to see how everything is going to play out. I want to say that I will visit North Carolina and Iowa and then take an unofficial to Purdue."
Nebraska has extended a verbal offer to Octavien, but there is little doubt that Nebraska is serious about recruiting Octavien. He is expecting the written offer on the official visit. As of right now, Octavien thinks that Nebraska is recruiting him the hardest.
"They're all recruiting me pretty hard. Really, really, really hard I would have to say Nebraska. Kansas and North Carolina are the too. I am hearing some stuff from Iowa. Really Nebraska, Kansas and North Carolina are recruiting me the hardest. Central Florida is pushing hard too for a commitment."
"When it comes to Nebraska the first thing is that they are in the Big 12 conference. Then there is their tradition. That conference is a real powerhouse conference. I'd love to play in their program. But besides that their coaching staff they have now are going to do a great job. They have put out great defensive players. Ever since I was younger I have been thinking about Nebraska. It's the Cornhuskers!"
Octavien knows more about Nebraska than just football. He has learned about their strong business management program and knows about Nebraska being the NCAA all-time leader for Academic All-Americans. He would like to have a decision by December 13 and distance from home and geography will have little to no role in his decision. Expect a very happy school getting an early Christmas present this year with Steve Octavien's commitment.