With Inspiration From His Family, Erik Saylor Defines The Term Student-Athlete
Jan. 13, 2009
When freshman defensive lineman Erik Saylor was asked who has had the greatest impact on his career thus far, the Maryland native was quick to give his parents Scott and Lori all of the credit. Together they have served as his personal Board of Director's, both on and off the field. Scott was an offensive tackle for the West Virginia Mountaineers back in the 80's and Lori, who also attended WVU, is a middle school history teacher.
"My dad has been my coach ever since I started playing football at seven years old," says Saylor. "He's taught me so many things over the years in terms of my skills and techniques. With my mom being a teacher, she always made me understand that if I didn't have the grades, I wouldn't be able to play football."
With inspiration from Scott and Lori, Erik excelled academically and athletically while at Urbana High School. As a senior he registered 71 tackles, seven sacks and four pass breakups, was first team all-conference on offense and defense, first team all-area on defense, first team All-Gazette on defense, first team All-Met (Washington Post) on offense and second team all-state on offense. His efforts during that senior campaign earned him scholarship offers from Towson, Navy and Duquesne, but with the help of his father, Saylor chose to be a part of something special at ODU.
"My father had been through the recruiting process when he was in high school, so he told me the things I should look for and why I should choose a particular school," added Saylor. "And once I looked at everything I chose ODU because I wanted the opportunity to be a part of history and the facilities were brand new. I'd eventually like to get into coaching and I also thought it may be a place I could become a graduate assistant after I finish playing."
Saylor's playing days are a long way from being over, so right now his focus is on getting better in the offseason with winter conditioning and film study as the Monarchs prepare for spring drills in March. ODU added several junior college offensive linemen this semester and Saylor is motivated to line up against them, knowing that it can only aid in his development.
"Playing against them this spring is only going to help me be in a better situation," says Saylor who posted a 3.07 grade point average during the fall semester. "They know what the competition is like at the collegiate level and they'll be able to push me and make be a better player all around. They're at the level that we need to be at since they've already played two years, but I'm real competitive and don't like getting beat, so lining up against them only motivates me."