Sylva still looking at his options

The past two seasons, one of the top JUCO linebackers in the country has been Dean's Jason Sylva (6-3, 250). He was named the Northeast Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year after a huge sophomore season and he recently told that, while he remains committed to UMass, he's keeping his options open and will know if he can sign with a school next month very soon...

"I'm going through the NCAA to appeal my qualifier status and I should know here in a couple of weeks whether I can sign with a school next month and be a winter grad or if I have to wait until May to graduate," Sylva told "I just started to appeals process and, from the sounds of it, it sounds like it looks pretty good, but we won't know for a little while."

As a freshman in 2012, Sylva racked up 55 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss and three sacks and he followed that up this past season by being named the NFC Defensive Player of the Year after posting 72 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss, a forced fumble and an interception on a team that finished 6-4.

"I felt like I improved as a football player and even though we were sorta down as a team from a record standpoint, I felt like I personally had a good season," Sylva said. "I was a team captain and I just went out and tried to be a leader every play and every game. I tried to pick my teammates up and also gain their respect. Being an team captain in high school is a lot different than being in college and being a team captain. You have a bunch of guys from all over and they don't just automatically follow you. You have to earn it every day with the way you play and the way you work."

This summer, Sylva committed to UMass and he said while he remains committed he is keeping his options open.

"I am visiting UMass on December 6th and I've got one scheduled to Western Michigan on January 17th," Sylva said. "I have offers from both of those schools as well as Florida Atlantic, Old Dominion, Connecticut and Temple and I am getting looks from a few other schools too.

"I think one thing that has held some schools back from offering me is that they don't think I can be a mid-year (December) guy, so I'm hoping that once I find out my status that more schools will come in and offer and give me some more options," Sylva said.

No matter where or when he signs, Sylva will have three years to play two starting in the fall of 2014.

We will continue to keep track of Sylva's status in the coming weeks and we will update news as it happens.

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