Despite having the third most rushing yards in the Mid-Eastern Athletics Conference through five games, individual statistics are not important to freshman running back Philip Sylvester.
Sylvester has 101 rushing attempts for 598 and 4 touchdowns. He is averaging over 113 yards per game, which is a pace that could possibly leave him by seasons end at the top of FAMU’s record books for rushing yards in a single season.
“I had no idea coming in that I would have the opportunity to contribute as much as I have,” Sylvester said. “I just take it one play at a time and don’t worry about the records.”
The running back’s modesty along with his work ethic and willingness to learn has earned him the respect of his teammates.
Sylvester’s teammates senior offensive lineman Anthony Collins, a sociology student from Miami, and junior linebacker Dannel Sheppard, a business administration student from Cincinnati, were both impressed with Sylvester’s ability to stay grounded given his success.
Head Coach Rubin Carter was aware of Sylvester’s good disposition.
“His character is one of the reasons we recruited him,” Carter said.
Carter, however, was surprised by Sylvester’s ability to adjust to the mental and physical aspects of college football.
“You never know with a freshman how fast they will catch on and adjust to the system,” Carter said.
College can be overwhelming for incoming freshmen, but Sylvester said the transition from high school to college was easier for him because he has family in Tallahassee.
“I have two aunts that live in the area, so being here is like home away from home,” Sylvester said.
The freshman running back attributes his humility and work ethic to the upbringing provided by his parents.
“My father is the hardest working man I know and my mother supports me unconditionally,” Sylvester added.
This same work ethic that has gained him a starting position on the rattler football roster is also used off the gridiron.
Phillip Sylvester is currently a pre-engineering student with hopes of a career in civil engineering.
Sylvester, 18, is the middle child of three children. He has a 21-year-old elder vbrother and a 12-year-old younger sister.
The Rattler is very close to both of his siblings and attributes his playing football to his older brother.
“The only reason I’m playing today is because my brother motivated me to continue playing when I was contemplating quitting football after an [in ninth grade] injury,” Sylvester explained.
Phillip Sylvester has a promising career as a student athlete at Florida A&M University, according to his coach and teammates, and so far his career seems impressive.