A source told ESPNBoston.com this afternoon that former Tabor Academy linebacker Jason Sylva, now at Dean College, has committed to UMass for the 2014 season.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Sylva, a Plymouth resident, originally signed with UConn in February 2012, but ended up at Dean, a junior college based in Franklin, for last season. As a re-classified senior at Tabor in 2011, he was ranked a two-star prospect by ESPNU, and the No. 9 overall prospect in Massachusetts. He committed to UConn in June 2011 over offers from Boston College and Buffalo.
Sylva is the first Massachusetts resident to pledge to the Minutemen for their 2014 recruiting class.
Here is ESPN's evaluation of Sylva from signing day in February 2012:
Sylva is productive as a running back and linebacker. Has the ability to dominate on both sides of the ball at his present level of play. We feel his size and athleticism are best suited for the inside linebacker position at the major level of competition. The strong tackling skills he demonstrates should prove valuable as a special team's coverage defender; also has a blocked punt to his credit. Is a strong upright runner with good pull through ability but lacking lateral quickness and break away speed; runs good short/medium routes demonstrating the ability to catch out of the frame. We detect some hip tightness when playing in space however his balance and agility are better than average; does a good job with key and diagnosis reaction skills against the run and pass; is effective playing inside out and is quick to scrape off the edge. Works to play downhill while flashing the ability to move through traffic in pursuit of the football; long makeup speed is not a strong suit. Flashes potential as an inside and edge pass rusher; uses his upper body playing strength well but lacks a dominant closing burst to the quarterback. Demonstrates good short/medium route awareness with eyes on the passer however locking up in man coverage could challenge his playing speed and athleticism. This is a tough guy who makes his presence know when he gets to the football. Sylva is a boarder line major level prospect, worth keeping an eye on as the upcoming season unfolds.