Like a lot of players located in the northeastern part of the country, Silva went relatively unnoticed by high-major college programs and recruiting services. A two-star prospect, Silva committed to Boston College in late January of 2003, choosing the Eagles over Indiana, his only other Division-I offer, as programs such as North Carolina, Maryland, Syracuse, and Connecticut had expressed interest. D-IAA schools like Penn and New Hampshire had extended offers, but the late tender from the Eagles sealed the deal.
BC evaluated Silva throughout his senior season, as he had a stellar career at East Providence (RI) High School. A two-time All-State selection, Silva played safety and running back on the prep level, and he completed his career with more than 4,500 rushing yards, including 2,100 in his senior season. He also scored 29 touchdowns in 2002 and 49 total touchdowns, and Silva recorded 16 interceptions and more than 300 tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
It came as no surprise that he was tabbed the 2002 Rhode Island Player of the Year, but only Boston College came calling. He is making the BC coaching staff look very smart right now.
After redshirting in 2003, Silva played in all 12 games as a redshirt freshman, starting the first three contests and finishing with 43 tackles. He really burst on the scene in 2005. Playing all 12 games, Silva started seven at rover, recording a team-leading 87 tackles (60 solos), one quarterback sack, 4.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups and one interception.
His presence as a playmaker in the secondary and a sure-tackler around the line of scrimmage allowed Boston College to do a lot of different things scheme-wise defensively. He was tabbed an honorable mention All-ACC pick, and following the departure of Mathias Kiwanuka he is considered the leader of BC's defense.
A student of the game, Silva is aware of this week's matchup and the fact that NC State redshirt sophomore Daniel Evans is making his first start for the Wolfpack at quarterback. Silva has watched what little film there is on Evans, and he is impressed with the young signal-caller.
"He got in the game their last game – he did pretty well," said Silva. "He looked like he had confidence in the pocket and he knew what he was doing – he knew where his receivers were going to be. That kid looks ready to play.
"I guess (Marcus) Stone was making more mistakes than the club had hoped for so they had to replace him. I think the guy that's in there now will do well for them, but hopefully we'll take advantage of his inexperience."
"[The quarterback change] can bring a lot of energy if the team has been down," Silva added. "It can bring a lot of excitement and energy. On the other hand, maybe he's not quite as ready (as Stone) or else he could have been there earlier in the season. I don't know, I think we can take advantage of an inexperienced quarterback – but he shows that he's a good player, so we're going to be prepared, ready for him."
Despite the Wolfpack's 1-2 record, Silva believes Boston College will be in for a dogfight when they square off against NC State late Saturday night.
"I don't see then as a bad team that should be 1-2," he said. "I see them as a good team with great athletes and playmakers that can break big plays open at any point in the game. They can have a broken play turn into … a fumble that's picked up by one of their running back that's probably as good as anybody we're going to play and then taking off and doing whatever they can do with it. They have great players that can make great plays so we just have to be prepared and be in the right position."
Silva isn't the only one that has really scouted his competition. NC State head coach Chuck Amato knows all about BC's #44, as he loves Silva's aggressive nature and passion for the game.
"He's a guy that makes things happen," said Amato. "[He] loves to play the game. He runs around like you're suppose to. You wish every defense could have 22 of them because the defense would never get tired."