football

2014 athlete has connections aplenty

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You'd think having the uncle of a recruit working in your school's football offices would create a significant advantage. Most times you'd be right, but not in the case of Colorado and Chandler (Ariz) High School's Dionte Sykes, an athlete in the class of 2014.
Colorado and UCLA represent the junior's first two offers, and for every tie the Buffs have to Sykes, the Bruins have two. Sykes' uncle is the director of football operations for coach Jon Embree's program in Boulder. A healthy chunk of the UCLA coaching staff might as well be blood related, though.
"Some of the coaching staff that was at Oregon State when my dad was playing there and was here at Arizona State after that is at UCLA now," Sykes said. "They've known me since I was a baby. For example, Eric Yarber, the wide receivers coach at UCLA, I've known him since I was about three. I still talk to a lot of them.
"I guess I'm lucky like that."
There's also the fact that Sykes grew up a UCLA fan and has extended family living the Los Angeles area. But that's not to say his recruitment is an open-and-shut case.
"It's kind of balanced," Sykes said on Wednesday. "I have family in Colorado and I have family in California, where I'm from. It's really all balanced out."
The process of unbalancing things starts this season. Sykes is currently setting unofficial visits to each of his top two schools. He plans to attend games at both CU and UCLA, but dates for those trips are still being hammered out.
"I'm supposed to be planning those out with my coach and my parents pretty soon," he said.
Once thought to be a candidate to make an early commitment, Sykes has now elected to take his time. He says he won't try to get his decision out of the way as previously planned, but actually intends to take things down to the wire.
"I'm just going to take my time and not stress out about it," he said. "I'll make my decision on signing day senior year."
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Sykes plays wide receiver at the high school level, but has the body to play H-back or tight end in college.
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