Sykes goes in-depth on Syracuse official

Nile Sykes has been a top target for the Orange throughout the recruiting process. Over the weekend, he took his first trip to Central New York in what was also his first official visit. The three star linebacker discusses the trip and its impact inside.

Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic linebacker Nile Sykes took his first official visit over the weekend as he checked out the Syracuse campus for the first time.

"It went really well," Sykes said. "A lot more than I expected to be honest. I didn't really know what to think going in. It was my first official. I loved it. I had a really good time with everybody. It's a real family setting. I liked everything about Syracuse.

"It definitely sets the bar high. I'm also looking forward to getting to see Notre Dame and seeing what they have to offer. Now that I know how welcoming Syracuse was and how fired up they were, it'll be interesting to see how Notre Dame and some of these other schools compare to that."

During the visit, Sykes was able to attend the Orange basketball game in order to get a feel for the fan base and game day environment in the Carrier Dome.

"It was pretty fun," Sykes said. "We were out of there by right before halftime because they were really getting after this other team. But the time that I was there, I liked the atmosphere and everybody was into the game.

"Even though it wasn't a top game, it wasn't them against like Duke or something, there was still a lot of fan support. Fans were going crazy. It was a good time."

The part of the trip that had the biggest impact was Sykes' conversations with the Syracuse coaching staff. Specifically, he spent time with linebackers coach Clark Lea, quarterbacks coach Tim Lester and head coach Scott Shafer.

"I talked to all the coaches," Sykes said. "Mainly coach Lea and coach Shafer than anybody else. And coach Lester. They were just expressing to me how they felt about me. That it was a need for them to have somebody to be able to come in and play early. Obviously if I'm ready. They were just expressing that to me a lot. That I was the guy that they would like to have.

"Coach Lea, I was able to sit down with him in his office. He was showing me different stuff and different things that they do on film. So I could kind of get a feel for the different things I would be doing in a game. I thought that was big. Telling me that they had a plan for me. They weren't just saying things just to say stuff. They actually thought it out and could already see me in their system."

The part that made Sykes feel the most at home was spending time with the recruits and current Syracuse players.

"It was awesome," Sykes said. "The recruits that came in, they were a real good group of guys. They were funny. My host Kendall Moore, he's a tight end and he's from Chicago also. So we had that to build the relationship.

"Hanging out with those guys, I got to hang out with the quarterback (Terrel Hunt). They weren't trying to recruit me, they were just hanging out like I was one of the guys. I had a lot of fun hanging out with them."

Of the recruits, Sykes said A.J. Long stuck out. Laughing about the situation, he says Long has a future off the field if he chooses.

"If this football thing doesn't work out for him, I told Eric White that to watch out because A.J. is going to be coming for his job," Sykes said. "A.J. is definitely a recruiter. Whenever he has a chance, I would see him making his way around to each recruit just trying to pitch his sales pitch to us. He's as excited as can be about being a part of that program."

The three star linebacker said committing did not cross his mind during the visit. That doesn't mean, however, that he couldn't picture himself in Orange.

"No I didn't consider committing," Sykes said. "I did ask myself could I see myself walking around and being with these people. I definitely could see myself hanging around those type of people there.

"Like I said, it's a family atmosphere. Everybody was nice. I could see myself there. But as far as thinking about committing, I didn't really think about that."

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