This suggestion is so open to abuse that I can already see the Roshei Yeshivot smiling. Also unlike the talented youth of the secular world where much of their oppotunity of sucess is based in there age (i.e careers in sport, the performing arts etc) I doubt that a 2-3 year break at the age of 18 even for the greatest torah sage of all time will really damage his(her?) chances of greatness in this field of study and if anything (as you mentioned) may assist them (having aquired a more practical knowledge of real life). Why are there no exemptions for our gifted science or phylosphy studentS? Because it is clear to everyone (and rightly so) that the mateial he/she need to study isn;t going anywhere. I am against any exemption based on Torah study because it is discriminotory and unecessary.
27 injured in fire, explosion at former air raid shelter in Hamburg, Germany (DPA)
from the article: 1,000 reasons to allow Talmudic exemptions from the IDF