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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Nile Sykes, OLB, Indiana University

Nile Sykes is a hard hitter for Indiana University

NFL Draft Diamonds has interviewed some of the best small schoolers to make it to the NFL.  Last year our team interviewed over 750 players from NAIA to the FBS.  This year we went to NFL teams scouts for every question on this interview.  Ten NFL scouts who are avid readers of Draft Diamonds put this interview together for our reader’s pleasure.  We hope you enjoy this interview, with another potential NFL draft prospect. 

• Name: Nile Sykes

• Height: 6020

• Weight: 245

• Position: OLB/DE

• College: Indiana University

• Twitter: Ninth__Cloud

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

•  I live in Oak Park, Illinois which in my opinion of one of the best cities in the entire Chicagoland area. What I love most about my hometown is the community and family environment that I grew up in. Throughout all my years of growing up here, I have formed so many relationships that will last me a lifetime. Another thing I love about my hometown is that it is so close to down town Chicago, it would only take me about 10-15 minutes to get downtown depending on traffic

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

•  I would say strength and conditioning would be most important, followed by film study and then finally practice. The reason I put them in that order is because first of all if you’re not in the best shape possible, you’re already putting yourself at a disadvantage on the field. The reason I put film study second is because without studying film and knowing not only your opponent but also mastering your own play book then your time on the practice field will be wasted because your coach isn’t going to put you on the field if you don’t know what you’re doing

What do you worry about, and why?

•  I worry most about letting my family down because I know they are relying on me, I am also my biggest critic, so I take everything I do very seriously and refuse to let myself or my family down

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

•  Coming into college I wanted to play as a true freshman and I came into college with the wrong mindset and didn’t take things as seriously as I should have which resulted in me redshirting that season, and in my eyes, I failed myself. Over the next few years I worked my butt off made it a point that I would never not be on that field again another season during my time there and I made that a reality

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•  I think my teammates would all agree that I am a good teammate and a guy you want around your program. I get along with everyone and try to help anyone I can with whatever situation it is

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

•  Best college players I have ever played against would have to be Jason Spriggs (Packers), Jordan Howard (Bears), Tevin Coleman (Falcons), and Dan Feeney (Chargers). They all happened to be my teammates at one point.

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 

• I got a Business Management degree from Indiana University so if football did not work out, I would eventually go into some business line of work, but football is most important to me right now.

Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?

  • I believe you would clean your room firstbecause that is where you live. Always keep your home in order

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

• I would definitely choose to save my family member. At the end of the day my family is all I really have. They’re the ones that I can rely on the most and will love me no matter what.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

• I would be Will Smith from the movie Pursuit of Happiness, in that movie he did whatever it took to get where he wanted to be and through all of the ups and downs, he stayed strong and eventually got what he worked so hard for.

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

• The biggest adversity thus far has been getting injured in 2017 and being ruled out for the entire season. That was a really tough time in my life because before then I had never been out of football ever in my life. I was feeling sorry for myself and lost, but luckily, I had family and friends that were there to help me the entire way.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• I honestly can’t recall a most embarrassing moment.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  The most memorable play would have to be when we kicked a field goal to beat Michigan state in 2016. A personal play that was memorable would be when I tackled Saquon Barkley for a TFL right before half time

What song best describes your work ethic?

• The song to describe my work ethic would have to be Nonstop by Drake

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

• The most important trait I think I bring to the table would have to be my ability to learn quickly. I pride myself on being retain information easily and then applying it correctly.

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

•  I would bring my grandpa back alive. He was such a big part of my life and was a huge support system for me my entire life whether it be on or off the field.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 

•  I would name the club “igNition”. The N is capital on purpose to represent the N in my first name

Who is the most overrated player in the NFL? 

•  I don’t think any player is overrated. If he worked that hard to get to where he is, chances are he deserves to be in the position that he is in

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  I would much rather be respected because not everyone has to like you or be your friend but if they respect you, I believe that is more important than anything else

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

• I believe that Kareem Hunts career has been derailed the most because he was so young and had such a promising future in the NFL but due to his off the field choices, his career has now come to a halt.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I hate losing. Always have and always will.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

• My mom and dad are my biggest influences on my life. Growing up I watched them time after time make sacrifices for me and my siblings to make sure that we have the best opportunities in life. My parents have sacrificed things that they didn’t necessarily have but did it anyway just to make sure me and my siblings for good.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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