Big Derrick Lykes from Chilton County High is a disruptive force for the Tigers in the middle and he says currently he has four schools he's hearing from regularly.
Like many of the prospects who grow up in Alabama, Lykes says his two favorites are the Tigers and Crimson Tide. He says he's hearing from both schools, but one has the edge at the moment heading into the spring evaluation time for coaches.
"I like them both," Lykes says. "Alabama came to school today to talk to me. That was the first time they have ever come. Greg Knox (Auburn's wide receiver coach) always comes by. He's coming to watch me lift weights. He sends me text messages all the time. Of course, I'm going back to their camp again this year. I just like Auburn. They're my favorite right now."
One of the top performers at Auburn's camp last season heading into his junior year, Lykes says that experience propelled him to his best season on the field because it showed him how he had to work to get the job done.
"I learned that if you do your best and just because you're younger doesn't mean you can't show out," Lykes says. "The camp made me want to show everyone what I can do."
Currently measuring in at 6-4, 276 with a reported best time of 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Lykes is a three-year starter for Chilton County at both defensive tackle and defensive end. Athletic enough to throw the shot put and run the 100 meters on the track team, Lykes is an interesting prospect that could play anywhere on the defensive front and even tight end on the next level.
As a junior he had an outstanding season for the Tigers, helping them to a playoff berth before losing to Eufaula on the road. Playing defensive end, Lykes made 75 tackles with eight sacks, two defensive touchdowns, three forced fumbles and three forced fumbles. On offense he also added two touchdown catches as a tight end. He says that while he is physical on the field, that isn't what makes him a good player.
"I think it's my speed for my size," Lykes says of his strength. "I was a defensive tackle when I first got to high school but when my coaches saw what I could do they moved me to defensive end."