Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic linebacker Nile Sykes is one of the most sought after prospects in the Midwest. A few days after taking his official visit to Syracuse, assistant coach Tim Lester stopped by for an in-home visit.
"They came by my house," Sykes said. "It went really well. Coach Lester came by. I really like coach Lester. He's a really good guy. Besides the whole football thing, he's a really genuine man. That's what I like about him when he comes to visit. It's not all about recruiting and it's not all about Syracuse football. He likes to know about how my family is doing. We talk about all different types of stuff and that's what I like about him. Aside from all the football stuff, he's just someone that is a good man.
"The visit was pretty much just to clear up any questions I may have had. He said sometimes when you make a visit you think about all of these questions that you should have asked. So he came by to see if I had any questions and to stop by before the dead period."
The three star linebacker did have one question for coach Lester.
"I asked him if I got hurt, would my scholarship still be good," Sykes said. "He explained to me that it would and I would just become a medical scholarship. I didn't have too many questions. They were very thorough in everything they did on the visit. I have a good perspective of Syracuse football and the coaching staff and all of that."
One of the most important parts of Sykes' recruitment will be the relationship of the coaching staff with his parents. He says that coach Lester is someone that his parents trust.
"My parents really like him," Sykes said. "My mom tells him that he's free to come by anytime. They like Syracuse and what they believe in and their character. They like the football but they're more concerned with the education part of it. A Syracuse education is outstanding, so that's what their main focus is; making sure I'm going to be taken care of with guidance and everything. Make sure I'm guided the right way and can get my degree. So they like Syracuse."
Wednesday night, Sykes had a high school football banquet where he won defensive player of the year. While attending the banquet, he heard that his primary recruiter at Notre Dame had taken a job elsewhere. With his official visit coming up this weekend, that does leave a couple of question marks surrounding the Irish.
"During the banquet I was at, I found out that the linebackers coach Bob Diaco just left," Sykes said. "He's got a head coaching job at the University of Connecticut. That kind of shocked me because they had been telling me what vision they had for me. That different type of stuff. Now, I don't know who I'm looking forward to seeing. I don't who the linebackers coach is going to be.
"It is kind of shocking. But people say all the time, and I know that, that you don't pick a school just for the coaches. You pick it because of the school and what that school can do for you. It will still would be nice to know who the guy is that you'll be spending the most time with, your position coach. So we'll see who that is and what type of person he is. I'm still looking forward to the visit."
Sykes is not in a hurry to make his final decision, but says if he gets that feeling about a school, he could pull the trigger during the dead period.
"I had no intentions committing on the trip (to Notre Dame)," Sykes said. "But if I feel comfortable with the options I have right after the trip, I would make my decision then. If I felt like I needed to go see more schools, then I would do so. We'll see how it goes."