Harrington and Sylvester Sign National Letter of Intents
Alfred State football players Brett Harrington (Rochester/Edison Tech) and Dominic Sylvester (Horseheads) signed national letters of intent on Wednesday to continue their collegiate careers. Harrington signed with Western Kentucky University while Sylvester inked with the University of Alabama Birmingham.
Harrington, a 6-1, 185 lb. cornerback, had two solid seasons wearing the blue & gold. He registered 51 tackles during his two seasons (14 games - missed parts of 2011 with an injury) and picked off five passes. 37 of his tackles were solo and seven were for a loss. He also blocked three kicks, recovered two fumbles, and returned a fumble for a score.
Harrington was also recruited by Akron and Buffalo but chose WKU based on his visit to the Bowling Green, KY campus. "It was an amazing trip. The coaching staff and the players were all hungry for success. I started thinking about this opportunity to play at the highest level 14 years ago."
Harrington joins a Hilltopper football program under the direction of Willie Taggert. WKU finished the 2011 season with a 7-5 record and a 7-1 mark in the Sun Belt Conference. The 2012 schedule for WKU features games at Alabama, Kentucky and Hawaii.
Harrington was also a two-time NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field All-American in 2011.
Sylvester, a 6-3, 300 lb. center, started all ten games during his one season at Alfred State. He helped an offense that averaged 338.8 yards per game and allowed just 11 sacks. He is one of only two junior college players in the Blazers 25 signees on signing day.
The Horsehead grad joins elite company as he is first former Raider in 15 years to play Division I football. "It is a step up to play at UAB. I am excited about the challenge and the opportunity to play in an area that is crazy about football. I really liked the coaching staff, the weather, and the accounting program is the best in the state."
UAB is coming off a 3-9 season (3-5 in Conference USA) in 2011. New head coach Garrick McGee and the Blazers 2012 schedule features non-conference contests at South Carolina and at Ohio State along with conference match-ups with 2011 top 20 programs Houston and Southern Mississippi.
Alfred State football coach Mick Caba is excited for each player's future. “Seeing our players sign with major college football programs is always rewarding. Knowing that Brett and Dominic will have the opportunity to play against SEC competition in SEC stadiums this fall is especially exciting. It is an indication that the Division I football programs across the nation are aware of our program and the caliber of player and the character of the young men we have at Alfred State. I am expecting a few more of our players to receive offers as well."
Harrington and Sylvester helped the Pioneers to a 6-4 record in 2011. Alfred State also captured the college's first ever Region III Championship.
Choosing Alfred State was key in Sylvester's path to signing day. "Out of high school, I was getting scouted by some DIII schools. I stopped into Alfred for a visit and made a great decision to attend. I was able to learn the skills I needed to move on to the next level."
Alfred State football coach Mick Caba:
“I am happy to see Brett sign with Western Kentucky University and have the opportunity to play major college football . During his two years with us Brett has developed as a student as well as a player. I expect him to have a great career for the Hilltoppers. I would not be surprised to see him become one of the top cornerbacks in major college football in the next couple of years.”
“Dominic is a great success story for Alfred State Football. When Dom graduated from Horseheads High School last spring he only had a few NCAA Division III (non-scholarship) schools interested him. I recruited him to play for Alfred State and he had a great freshman season, as well as a tremendous academic semester (3.76 GPA). Now he has the opportunity to play major college football at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The coaches at UAB expect him to compete for the starting center job as a sophomore this fall.”
Western Kentucky Recruiting Coordinator Eric Mathies on the signing of Brett Harrington:
"Brett [Harrington] – he is a mature guy. He has seen the battles, which gives him an opportunity to come in and help us right away. He brings attributes that you are not going to get in a lot of kids. He has tremendous speed, great instincts and those are all things that you need in a football player, especially as a defensive back."