Sylvester says he's a Dawg

It's a rarity for Washington to pull prospects from the east coast, but one that was on his official visit this weekend decided he was ready to take the plunge and become a Husky. The Hun (Princeton, NJ) LB/FB Austin Sylvester spoke with and confirmed he committed to Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham on Saturday night.

"It was a great visit and I told coach Willingham I was ready to be a Dawg," Sylvester said excitedly as he waited for a friend to pick him up from the Newark Airport. "Washington was everything I thought it would and much, much more. I'm just really excited to be a Husky and to be coming back to the west coast."

Sylvester was hosted by FB Paul Homer who shares a lot of the same traits as the Nevada native.

"The coaching staff said we are a lot alike because he could have come in and played linebacker or fullback, he just happened to end up at fullback," Sylvester said. "He was a great guy and great host. We had a blast together.

"I got in on Friday and we went to lunch at the Space Needle and that was amazing. The 360-degree view of the city of Seattle was so beautiful. It was a nice sunny day too, so that was what really made it great."

On Saturday, during dinner, Sylvester and his mother, who came on the visit with her son, sat and talked with coach Willingham and he said all of their questions were answered.

"He told us what he expects out of his players and that impressed my mom," Sylvester said. "Just listening to him for five minutes made me want to follow him anywhere; He's such an impressive man and coach, that he makes you want to be the best you can be.

"After dinner, me and Paul headed back to his dorm room and I got to meet some of the players. Jake (Locker) wasn't there, but I got to meet his roommate, Ryan Tolar, and some of the other guys from last year's class and they were all really welcoming and showed me a great time.

"After spending some time with them, I told Paul ‘I think I'm ready to make my decision, I want to be a Husky' and so I called coach Willingham and told him. He was really happy and said he's happy to get a recruit like me and that I'm exactly the type of player they want to bring in to help Washington get back to where they were so used to being."

Sylvester also laughed when asked about his exploits at Bishop Manogue High School in 2005 as "Austin Sylvester – Hallway Linebacker".

"Oh geez, you found that?" Sylvester said with a laugh. "My buddy from high school, Matt Lawrence, he basically invented the AV (Audio/Visual) branch at Manogue, and he came up with the character as a parody of the ‘Terry Tate – Office Linebacker' ads for Reebok and I thought would be fun.

"He did a great job of it on his computer with the editing and sound and we all had a blast with it. I can't believe that's on the internet."

Now Sylvester has two weeks of classes left before he heads back to Reno for Christmas with his family and he's working to enroll early at Washington.

"The coaches really want to get me in for March so I can be there for spring practices," Sylvester said. "I'm going through the application process right now and I should be able to get there early.

"I can't wait to get there and help the Huskies get back to the top."
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