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Monday, July 15, 2013
Four-star LB holds off on naming leaders

By Jared Shanker

As a freshman, Nile Sykes (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) played a little bit of linebacker. He has not played the position since, though, moving to defensive end as a sophomore and junior.

Except colleges want the 6-foot-2, 219-pound Sykes to play outside linebacker, so several teams are holding off on offering until they see senior film at the position.

Cincinnati, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa State, Purdue and Syracuse are the BCS teams to offer scholarships to the four-star Sykes, who has not yet begun to name leaders.

“I haven’t decided that yet and put that out there because I still want to make more trips,” he said. “I want to get back to Iowa State and Syracuse and places that already offered, and I want to get into my season and play some games and get some linebacker film and see if any new schools jump into the picture.”

During his first visit to Iowa State, Sykes had the opportunity to have a sit-down conversation with coach Paul Rhoads. The talk went so well that it is one of the main reasons Sykes wants to return to Iowa State.

“[Rhoads talked about] how big of an impact I would make and he said they need guys like me and told me the program is going in the right direction,” Sykes said. “He’s explaining to me the different types of defensive schemes they run. I really enjoyed it. I thought he’s a really down-to-earth guy. He wasn’t all football. He asked how school is going and how my family is doing.”

Syracuse is making a concerted effort to recruit the Midwest under new coach Scot Shafer and already have Chicagoland linebacker Colton Moskal in the fold. Sykes and Moskal competed against each other at a 7-on-7 tournament this week, and the two talked a little bit about the future of the Orange program.

Sykes has yet to visit the Orange, but he plans to get up there as soon as he can.

“I want to go see what they have to offer,” he said. “[The coaches] want me to be a part of 'Cuse Nation and they want me to get up there and see it for myself. I want to see what it’s like, want to see the [Carrier] Dome and get to meet the coaches in person.”