Keyshawn Sullivan will play for the Rattlers team when they square off against the Black Knights in Saturday’s 16th annual Red Stick Bowl, but Sullivan is also considering joining the Black Knights.
However, it won’t affect his status for Saturday.
Sullivan, a defensive lineman from Zachary High School, is being recruited by the U.S. Military Academy, whose football team is better known as the Army Black Knights. Along with the Brees Dream Foundation, the U.S. Army is one of the featured sponsors of the Red Stick Bowl.
If Sullivan chooses to continue his football career in West Point, New York, he will officially be a Black Knight.
Playing in the Red Stick Bowl has kept Sullivan moving since Saturday, when Zachary defeated Hahnville 34-14 for the Class 5A state title at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Sullivan was part of a Broncos defense that gave up more than 200 yards rushing to Hahnville star running back Anthony "Pooka" Williams, but limited the Tigers offense in the second and third quarters.
The defensive play allowed Zachary to take control of the game.
“I think we played excellent,” Sullivan said. “We got after their running back (Williams), who was fast and physical. We did a real good job.”
Sullivan has also done a good job at this week’s Red Stick Bowl practices, where Rattlers coach Frank Fresina and his staff have taken notice.
“He’s performed well for us,” Fresina said. “He’s picked up on what we’re doing up front real quick, and he’s a good athlete. He’s a guy that has long arms and knows how to use them.
“He uses the tools that he has. He’s been impressive this week.”
In addition to Army, Sullivan said he has received offers from Nicholls State and Southern. With a 4.0 GPA and a score of 28 on the ACT, academics won’t be a problem for him. Sullivan credits his parents for stressing the importance of working hard in school.
“It started when we were young,” he said. “Not just for me, but with all my siblings. It became automatic. I decided I wanted to take care of my work.”
Taking care of his work has drawn the attention of college recruiters, and, with Zachary’s season completed, Sullivan said he is getting closer to making a final decision. It will likely come after he takes a recruiting visit to West Point, a trip he plans to take soon.
“(Army) told me it's really good up there," he said. "They take academics seriously, and it’s a prestigious school. They told me it’s a good opportunity to take care of my future.”
Those words echoed that of Sullivan’s high school coach, David Brewerton, who also stressed the opportunity Army’s offer provided.
“(Brewerton) told me it was a great school and that he was proud of the way I played all year,” Sullivan said.
For now, Sullivan is concentrating on one last game as a high school senior. Even though the game is a reward for a well-played season, he doesn’t see it as a time to take it easy.
“It's been fun (this week), but it's another game. It's the same mentality,” Sullivan said. “Every game I like to go as hard as I can, and bring the same effort.”