Following His Heart

Although he doesn't yet have a scholarship offer in hand from his favorite school, Houstin Syvertson has made his college destination known.

Houstin Syvertson, a multi-talented player from Shady Spring High School in West Virginia, has always held WVU in special esteem. His childhood favorite, he's dreamed of playing for the Mountaineers from the time he picked up a football. So much so, that he has committed to the state's flagship institution even though a scholarship offer has not yet been made.

"In the end, it wasn't a tough decision," Syvertson told after turning down some offers from lower division schools. "It's where I've always wanted to go, and it wasn't tough to follow my heart."

Syvertson will have a chance to earn a scholarship in several different ways. Depending on how West Virginia's recruiting class turns out, he could snag one that becomes available late, just as a pair of specialists, Josh Lambert and John DePalma, did a year ago. He also has the chance to perform at multiple positions -- certainly a rarity for a player who first came to West Virginia's attention as a punter. His development at any one of those could also lead to a scholarship at some point during his career.

"The coaches have talked to me about fullback, tight end and linebacker," said Syvertson, who played on both offense as defense as well as handling punting duties for Shady Spring. "I'll work on all of those and see how it goes."

Syvertson wasn't a mere placeholder in those spots in high school. In addition to excellent punting, he was rugged runner and a go-to player and fullback, and led his team in tackles as a linebacker during his junior and senior years.

"I don't know which one I might have the best chance of playing," Syvertson admitted. "I am just gong to work on improving. I will balance lifting and getting stronger with stretching to keep my flexibility [for punting]. It will take a lot of work, but I think I can do it."

Syvertson will complete his high school career this spring at Shady Spring by competing in the shot put for the track team.

"I finished second in the state last year, so I want to win that state championship this year."

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