July 2, 2014 // Notre Dame Football

Hilliard, Cornell to OSU, Nile Sykes to Transfer?

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(Photo: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

It was a rough day on the defensive side of the ball for Notre Dame on Wednesday.  Not only did the Irish lose out on prized, 5-star recruits Jashon Cornell and Justin Hilliard to their neighbors to the east, Ohio State; but they also have reportedly lost incoming freshman Nile Sykes to a transfer according to multiple reports.

The day started off with a double whammy for Notre Dame when both Hilliard and Cornell committed to Ohio State on a ESPN live webcast.  Notre Dame had not been considered the favorite for either prospect, but there was still some faint hope that the Irish could pull off an upset with Hilliard after multiple recent trips from the Ohio native.

While the loss of both recruits stung a little, the news was also somewhat expected.  News of Nile Sykes potentially transferring on the other hand was not expected, but multiple news outlets are reporting that the Chicago area native will play elsewhere this fall despite still being enrolled at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame still has plenty of prospects left at linebacker in this class even if they don’t carry quite the rankings as Hilliard or Cornell.  Tevon Coney recently visited for the Irish Invasion and left with Notre Dame right at the top of his list.  In-state linebacker Asmar Bilal, regarded by some as a 4-star recruit, also has Notre Dame among his favorites after a recent visit.  Porter Gustin and John Houston are two other names to keep an eye on at linebacker as the Irish move on at the position.

With Sykes looking to transfer, look for Notre Dame to attempt to add at least two more backers to this year’s class to go along with Josh Barajas.  Sykes was part of a big group of incoming front seven players that Notre Dame hauled in with the class of 2014.  Sykes was seen as a diamond int he rough type recruit for Notre Dame this year after the Illinois native played mainly defensive end at the high school level.

Sykes would have given the Notre Dame linebacking corps versatility with the ability to play on the inside or the outside depending on what defensive look Notre Dame was in.  While Sykes was not expected to be a major contributor as a freshman, he figured to be one of the more intriguing players to watch develop given his lack of experience at the linebacker position.

As of Wednesday night, neither Notre Dame nor anyone directly connected to Sykes has had any official comment other than the freshman linebacker himself tweeting out that he was still currently a Notre Dame student shortly after the news broke.

Comments to this Article

  • Rob commented on July 2nd, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Sykes tweet has me baffled. He obviously knows about the reports. Why tweet that then? Maybe he had a change of heart? Maybe the reports are wrong? He’s an uber talent so I hope he stays. Why leave with BVG on board, a defensive guru who would turn him loose and maximize his potential.


  • 45yearfaithful commented on July 2nd, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Let it go. Concentrate on the trenches. Qb may go, but it won’t be to NFL!


  • NDFanCanada commented on July 3rd, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Anyone know how BVG is with the players? Wondering if his style is a bit of a drawback on the recruiting trail. We seem to be just missing with these elite front 7 types, though that predates him.


    Ron Burgundy replied on July 3rd, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Other than the chronic halitosis, he is well liked.


    Storespook replied on July 3rd, 2014 at 10:15 am



    clubgitmo replied on July 7th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    ND has not consistently recruited front 7 studs on defense for quite some time now.


  • George commented on July 3rd, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Oh well, at least Urban allows us to have the 3 and sometimes 4 star recruits.


  • Toulmin H. Brown commented on July 3rd, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    If Urban runs into Saban in the playoffs that’ll be the end of tO.S.U.’s run on five stars.


    Ron Burgundy replied on July 4th, 2014 at 11:47 am

    So what you are telling us is that next year tOSU will have one of the 4 best teams in the country and be a part of the first ever college football playoff and this will somehow hurt recruiting??


    George replied on July 5th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    No it won’t


  • Bruce johnson commented on July 4th, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Will brian Kelly ever win us a national championship ?


  • Jack commented on July 5th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Jury is still out. He either has a really good defense or good offense. He has yet to put together a top ten team on both sides of the ball. Most of your NC teams are great on one side of the ball and top 20 on the other side. This year ND will need to lean heavily on its offense, which is a problem with teams that rank in the top 20 in defense. We’ll see my thoughts are 9-3 or 10-2 best case scenario. I could see them going 8-4 and if that happens I don’t see BK being at ND much longer.


  • Jerry Seppanen commented on July 7th, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    We are just losing too many with BK


  • rocky blier commented on July 8th, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Cornell and Hilliard must know that the schedule for OS is always weaker than ND. ND doesn’t have any class 2 teams on its scedule. They are not interested in a great education where THEY have to do the classroom work and homework. They will also miss being in the regular population of the university.


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