Ex-Gopher TE Brian Sykora has landed at UMD

Brian Sykora, a 6-foot-6 tight end who left the Minnesota football team after a redshirt freshman season in 2002, has landed at Minnesota-Duluth as a basketball player. He was redshirted and was expected to battle for a backup spot the next year, but he left the program. Sykora was thought to be headed to Gustavus Adolphus to play basketball back in 2003, but he never enrolled.

Brian Sykora was considered a key football recruit in the Gophers Class of 2002. He played at Bloomington (MN) Jefferson under former Gopher Jon Leverenz. Sykora was named All-State, All-Area and All-Lake Conference as a senior. He also was named All-Lake Conference as a junior. Sykora had 35 receptions for 435 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. He also had four sacks as a defensive end.

Sykora was a four-time letterwinner in basketball. He averaged 18 points and nine rebounds per game and helped lead the Jaguars to the Class AAAA championship game, where they lost to Minnetonka Hopkins.

Sykora averaging 19.8 points per game (fourth best in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) this past season for the Artichokes (no kidding), who finished 16-14. He was named All-ACCAC Honorable Mention and First-Team NJCAA All-Region D-II. Sykora was named the Player of the Week twice (Jan. 14 and Mar. 3) and had five double-doubles in conference play.

Sykora was one of seven Minnesota natives signed in the Class of 2002. The others were Hopkins offensive lineman Joe Ainslie, Buffalo defensive lineman Tyson Swaggert, Cretin-Derham Hall defensive lineman Scott Stephenson, St. Michael-Albertville defensive lineman Matt Spaeth, Hopkins defensive lineman Maurice Buchanan and Eagan offensive lineman Brian Goblirsch.

His older brother David lettered at Minnesota in football in 1999.

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