May 4, 2007
ALLEN PARK, Mich. - The Detroit Lions announced on Friday that former Ohio tight end Rudy Sylvan (Suisun City, Calif.) has signed a free agent contract. Sylvan has already reported to Detroit for the team's first rookie mini-camp which began today.
Sylvan started all 13 games he played in as a senior. He led the Bobcat tight ends with 23 catches for 208 yards. Both totals were single-season career highs. Sylvan also had two receiving touchdowns. Ten of his 23 receptions were either for first downs or touchdowns, and he had five games with at least two receptions. His biggest game of the season came against Bowling Green when he registered a career-best seven catches for 79 yards and a score.
Sylvan ended his career with 32 catches for 293 yards and five touchdowns. In addition to his receiving duties he was a key member of the Bobcat offensive front that helped pave the way for two-time first-team All-MAC running back Kalvin McRae who is Ohio's first runner with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since 1975-76.
Sylvan is the fourth former Bobcat to sign a free agent contract since the 2007 draft. Classmates Matt Muncy and T.J. Wright both signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, while receiver Scott Mayle is a member of the Buffalo Bills. This year's free agent class has increased the number of former Bobcats on NFL rosters to seven. Ohio's All-America punter Dave Zastudil plays with the Cleveland Browns, while 2005 All-American Dion Byrum is a cornerback with the Carolina Panthers. Chip Cox, who finished his Bobcat career in 2004, is a safety with the Washington Redskins.