CG Trojan Jr. Tyler Sykes Excels at Safety

Center Grove is still in the hunt to defend their 5A 2008 state football championship. Tyler Sykes the 6-0 180 lb. safety has several things going for him. He is tall and fast. The junior safety is on the Center Grove track team and runs the 400m, a leg on the 1600 meter relay team, and he will tell you it helps him close the gap on receivers.

He is also still growing and knows there is plenty of opportunity to put more muscle on his 6-0 frame. Running at 4.59 40 at the National Underclassmen Combine not only proved his speed but added to his confidence. By the time the junior went to team camp at Indiana University in the early summer of 2009, he had earned his way onto the Center Grove defensive unit and was getting most of the reps during the 7 on 7 summer season.

In the state of Indiana playing on the Center Grove Bantam youth leagues seems to be the ticket to becoming a better football player. Good coaches from the youth level up through the varsity level is one of the secrets of the Center Grove football program. Tyler Sykes boasts that he has played for Center Grove since he was in the first grade. Over the course of the last 2 years Center Grove has produced multiple D1 players.

Sykes always tries to be in the right place at the right time to make the play. In the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference stopping the run is first, and Sykes has sharpened his abilities coming up to support the run and defending the pass. In the playoffs he has faced a passing team in Columbus East with Gunner Kiel hurling the football all across the field. Against Floyd Central, Tyler came up to help stop the run quite a bit. "You're always a little apprehensive when you face a passing team like Columbus East. You just have to read your keys and adapt quickly to the play being thrown at you," Sykes said.

This weekend Center Grove faces MIC power Warren Central, who beat Center Grove during the regular season. "Warren likes to run and throw, so we are going to be tested," Sykes told Indiana Varsity Scout. "Our goal since 4th grade has been to win the state championship and this year we get to defend our 2008 state championship," Sykes concluded

As a junior he is just beginning his recruiting path, but has gotten interest from Indiana University, Illinois, Louisville and Miami of Ohio with steady contacts. Notre Dame has made initial contact and Sykes will plan a trip to see the Irish later. "Our immediate goal was to beat Floyd Central and then we concentrate on Warren Central. All we wanted was an opportunity and now we get it and Warren stands at the door." Center Grove has several players being actively recruited according to Head Coach Eric Moore.

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