Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 81 of 111

Illinois Product Sees Great Opportunity At Notre Dame BY TOM LOY Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic linebacker Nile Sykes committed to Notre Dame during his official visit to South Bend on Dec. 13. The 6-2, 223-pound recruit expected to have a great time in South Bend, but his interest in committing during the trip even caught him by surprise. COMMITMENT PROFILE NILE SYKES "It's just an amazing opportunity to play at a school like Notre Dame," Sykes said. "I've known about all the things that Notre Dame offers, but this visit really broke it down for me. I wasn't planning on committing on the visit, but I just couldn't pass up this opportunity. "Just to graduate from Notre Dame, I'd be set with that degree. I would pretty much walk out of there with a job. Not only would those coaches help me become a better football player, they'd help me be a better person and they'd help me so much in life. I'd have so many connections leaving Notre Dame. It's just a great opportunity." Sykes passed on opportunities from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Missouri, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Purdue and South Florida, among others. He had a terrific senior season in leading Montini Catholic to the state championship game and that caught the 247Sports rates Sykes as a three-star prospect, the No. 34 outside linebacker in the country and the No. 13 player in Illinois. PHOTO COURTESY 247SPORTS attention of the Notre Dame staff. "I'm really happy with my decision," Sykes said. "I'm excited to be a part of the Irish and excited to start my career there. I'm also glad I stayed patient with the process and gave the coaches a chance to keep evaluating me. This

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