NCF On The Trail: Dionte Sykes


Arizona State and Oregon added to top-40 classes earlier this week, as the Sun Devils grabbed another ESPN 300 prospect and the Ducks flexed their muscles in Texas. USC softened its policy against in-season visitors, while UCLA will look to take advantage of hosting a committed visitor of its own this weekend.

Arizona State adds another

It didn't come as much of a surprise when ESPN 300 outside linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) verbally committed to Arizona State this past Sunday, but that didn't make the commitment any less important for the Sun Devils. Head coach Todd Graham's program is picking up steam on the recruiting trail as it puts together wins on the field. Calhoun joins teammate Jalen Harvey and four-star tackle Sam Jones (Highlands Ranch, Colo./ThunderRidge) as recent commitments for Arizona State, while quarterback Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin) continues to do an excellent job in selling the program to recruits. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Sun Devils eventually reel in California prospects Michael Lazarus (Berkeley, Calif./Berkeley), Kammy Delp (Pomona, Calif./Diamond Ranch) and Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdae), as the buzz -- especially in California -- continues to grow. Arizona State now has the nation's No. 25 recruiting class -- up three spots due to the updated ESPN 300 -- and sits just behind No. 24 Stanford and No. 20 Arizona as the third-best class in the Pac-12.

Hollins hollers for Oregon

Weekly commitment roundup

May, 17, 2013
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ACC
Duke
Zach Harmon OG Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic
HT: 6-foot-4 WT: 275 pounds
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kerrion Moore RB Gastonia, N.C./Hunter Huss
HT: 5-8 WT: 180
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Chris Taylor WR Coconut Creek, Fla./North Broward Prep
HT: 6-0 WT: 168
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Miami
Brad Kaaya QB-PP West Hill, Calif./Chaminade College Prep
HT: 6-4 WT: 213
Position Rank: #12 QB-PP
Stars: 4

NC State
Coult Culler OLB Wilmington, N.C./E.A. Laney
HT: 6-4 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jalan McClendon QB-PP Charlotte, N.C./West Mecklenburg
HT: 6-4 WT: 195
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big 12
Baylor
Jordan Feuerbacher TE-Y Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood Park
HT: 6-4 WT: 240
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Xavier Jones DE Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia West
HT: 6-3 WT: 200
Position Rank: #32 DE
Stars: 3

Iowa State
Sam Seonbuchner OLB Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead
HT: 6-2 WT: 223
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kansas
Kyron Watson OLB East Saint Louis, Ill./East Saint Louis
HT: 6-1 WT: 210
Position Rank: #4 OLB
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#100)

Oklahoma
Marcus Green CB Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill
HT: 6-1 WT: 176
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big East
Louisville
Isaiah Ford WR Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy
HT: 6-1 WT: 161
Position Rank: #34 WR
Stars: 4

George Rushing WR Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons
HT: 6-0 WT: 182
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Rutgers
Justin Herron OG Potomac, Md./Bullis School
HT: 6-4 WT: 275
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Michigan State
Chris Frey Jr. OLB Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington
HT: 6-2 WT: 214
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Matt Sokol ATH Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams
HT: 6-5 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Northwestern
Blake Hance TE-Y Jacksonville, Ill./Jacksonville
HT: 6-6 WT: 260
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Justin Jackson RB Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North
HT: 5-11 WT: 175
Position Rank: #32 RB
Stars: 4

Ohio State
Lonnie Johnson WR Gary, Ind./West Side
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Position Rank: #41 WR
Stars: 4

Penn State
Marcus Allen S Upper Marlboro, Md./Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr.
HT: 6-2 WT: 190
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jared Wangler OLB Warren, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate
HT: 6-2 WT: 218
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Wisconsin
Billy Hirschfeld DE Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead
HT: 6-6 WT: 267
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ula Tolutau ATH Salt Lake City, Utah/East
HT: 6-1 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pac-12
UCLA
Dionte Sykes WR Chandler, Ariz./Chandler
HT: 6-2 WT: 205
Position Rank: #49 WR
Stars: 3

Utah
Raelon Singleton WR Crosby, Texas/Crosby
HT: 6-4 WT: 185
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington
Chase Blakely DE Coeur D'Alene, Idaho/Coeur D'Alene
HT: 6-4 WT: 221
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington State
Greg Hoyd OLB Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta
HT: 6-1 WT: 191
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SEC
Auburn
Derrick Moncrief S Prattville, Ala./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
HT: 6-3 WT: 226
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Justin Thornton DE Prichard, Ala./Vigor
HT: 6-5 WT: 225
Position Rank: #13 DE
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#111)

Kentucky
Drew Barker QB-PP Hebron, Ky./Conner Senior
HT: 6-4 WT: 205
Position Rank: #7 QB-PP
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#141)

Kobie Walker S Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel
HT: 6-3 WT: 188
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

LSU
D'haquille Williams WR Laplace, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
HT: 6-3 WT: 210
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Missouri
Michael Fairchild OT Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West
HT: 6-6 WT: 270
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Finis Stribling IV CB Thompson's Station, Tenn./Independence
HT: 5-11 WT: 167
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Mississippi State
Dontavian Lee RB Brooklyn, Miss./Forest County Agriculture
HT: 6-0 WT: 205
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Vanderbilt
Montez Sweat TE-Y Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson
HT: 6-6 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending
In one of the least surprising developments of the 2014 recruiting class, three-star wide receiver Dionte Sykes (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler) is headed to the school he always knew he'd attend.

Sykes, who was previously offered by Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan and Michigan State, among others, picked up an offer from UCLA earlier this week and didn't need more than a few moments to know he would commit. On Thursday evening, he made it official by committing to the Bruins.

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It's no longer a surprise when an Arizona athlete comes to an event in California and stands out, as the top-tier talent from the Grand Canyon State continues to prove it can play with any group in the country.

At the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp on Sunday, wide receiver Dionte Sykes (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler) caught plenty of attention with his performance.


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LOS ANGELES -- As the first stop on the 2013 Nike Football Training Camp tour, Los Angeles provided a good look at hundreds of standouts in the West region. There were individual standouts at every position as well as several players who put themselves on the map with impressive performances. But the lasting impressions from the camp centered around two schools with talent to spare, a missed opportunity, a school making an out-of-state statement and Southern California’s deficiency and strength -- again -- at key positions.

Serra and Bosco lead the way

[+] EnlargeDwight Williams
Tom Hauck for Student SportsDwight Williams was the linebacker MVP and received an Opening invite at the Los Angeles NFTC.
After a big play during Sunday’s camp, it was more than likely that when you searched the roster to see who was responsible, that player would be from one of two schools: Serra (Gardena, Calif.) or St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.). Combined, there were 18 players from those two schools, including linebacker MVP Dwight Williams, offensive line MVP Damien Mama, and three of the five recipients of invitations to The Opening (Williams, Mama, and cornerback Naijiel Hale). And these two programs won’t be finished with the 2014 class, either, as 2015 quarterback Josh Rosen (St. John Bosco), 2015 linebacker John Houston (Serra) and 2016 wide receiver Brandon Burton (Serra) are all players to watch moving forward.


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Dontre WilsonMax Olson/ESPN.comOregon running back commit Dontre Wilson visited the school and saw a victory over Washington.


The Oregon Ducks rolled to another blowout win over the rival Washington Huskies on Saturday night.

The 52-21 victory was a big night for the Ducks on the field, and the program hosted several skill-position players on recruiting visits, highlighted by running back commit Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto).


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2014 OL Mike hoping for Michigan offer 

September, 28, 2012
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The state of Arizona is filled with top 2014 prospects across the board. From wide receivers Mark Andrews (Scottsdale/Desert Mountain) and Dionte Sykes (Chandler/Chandler) to offensive lineman Andrew Mike (Tucson/Sabino), the Grand Canyon state is an area Michigan is targeting for the future.

While both Andrews and Sykes currently hold offers, Mike hasn't been offered by the Wolverines, but he has been receiving a lot of communication.

"Since Sept. 1 I have received a lot of letters from Michigan every week. I plan on sending in my midseason highlight tape soon," he said. "I'm not worried about distance from home because I'm looking more for the mix of academics and great football like at Michigan."

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It has become customary for the Oregon Ducks to take their time in evaluating junior prospects, and it is much of the same with the class of 2014.
[+] EnlargeTony Brown
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comWhile Oregon hasn't offered any 2014 players yet, Watch List member Tony Brown has interest in the Ducks.

Another yearly occurrence is that a number of elite prospects from around the country that have their eyes on the Ducks early on. In typical Oregon fashion, the Ducks have yet to extend any offers for the class of 2014.

While they have no commits, the Ducks are listed among the early favorites for a large number of players in the 2014 ESPN Watch List.

In each of the last two recruiting cycles, the Ducks had an early commitment from one of the top in-state recruits. 2013 running back Thomas Tyner (Aloha, Ore./Aloha) has been committed to the Ducks for almost a year.

There is no Thomas Tyner in the class of 2014. There is also no Colt Lyerla. In fact, there are no Oregon high school prospects on the 2014 ESPN Watch List.

There might not be any elite talent from the state next year but the Ducks have made it very clear that they can compete for elite talent from all over the country.

ESPN Watch List members Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), Malik McDowell (Detroit, Mich./Loyola) Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, GA/Liberty County), Jordan Hoiem (Wailuku, HI/Baldwin), Dionte Sykes (Chandler, AZ/Chandler) and Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) are just some of the big names outside of California, the Ducks' most fertile recruiting territory -- that have expressed interest in the Ducks early on in the process.

There are 22 players on the Watch List from the state of California, including a large group of prospects who will likely earn an offer from the Ducks down the line.


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The West is again loaded with prospects for the 2014 class, and while California will always be the major supplier of recruits in the area, Arizona will receive its share of college coaches making visits next year.


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