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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Dionte Sykes, WR, Colorado State University – Pueb​lo

Dionte Sykes the big WR from Colorado State University – Pueblo recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot!
  • Name: Dionte Sykes
  • Height: 6’4
  • Weight: 215
  • Position: WR
  • College: Colorado State University-Pueblo
  • Twitter: @DS5ive

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

•  My hometown is Chandler, Arizona. I love how it’s a close-knit community with lots of support for people like myself. When you have some success in Chandler, the people of the city want to see you succeed more in your further endeavors. It’s cool going home and people in your neighborhood asking you how school/sports are going. 

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

•  In all honesty, I don’t list these by level of importance. Film, weights, conditioning and practice are all equally important to me. All of those tie into being a great football player. I don’t believe you can truly be great in this game if you put a ranking of importance on things like lifting, conditioning, film because all of them should mean a lot to you. 

What do you worry about, and why?

• I worry about the things I can control. When I know I don’t have control of something, I don’t worry about it. I let it play out and then react best way possible. The things I do worry about are school, football, and family at the end of the day.  

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

•  A perfect example of me failing at something was when I got kicked out of Arizona State after being there just a month. They offered me and I committed there out of JUCO, excited as ever to play in my home state. After being there just a month, I got kicked out because my classes from JUCO weren’t posted by the deadline time for camp. After practice over summer, I was told I couldn’t come back. I remember being so depressed and just down for weeks to come. After Rivals and a couple other sources got word I wasn’t at ASU anymore, more offers started rolling in, mostly FCS schools. I overcame it by getting my classes together that didn’t transfer and eventually went to Weber State. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• They say my best quality is taking over games and staying calm through adversity. When we need something big, when we need something done, I was the guy to go to and I proved it week in and week out. I love having the pressure on me because I feel like I thrive in situations like that. I feel like positivity is contagious, especially on the field so I try and do my best to keep my guys calm and win.   

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

•  Best player I played against in college was Keisean Nixon. 

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

• I’d be a sports psychologist. I know how much players and coaches go through. It can be difficult to balance everything going on in your life, then having separate things going on in your playing/coaching life.  

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

•  Room by far. Everything should already be clean, but the room should be the first thing cleaned. That’s where you eat, sleep and spend most of your time. Can’t be sitting around in filth. 

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

•  One family member for sure. Why? Because it dire times, I want someone who has my best interest and who I know will have my back and knows I have theirs. 

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

•  Out of anybody, I’d be Leonidas from the movie 300. Why? He lead 300 of the best men against thousands and thousands of different armies and came out victorious no matter what he went through. 

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

•  The biggest adversity in my life was getting hurt at Weber State. When I got hurt, I got told I should never play again if I cared about my well being. I went with the doctors opinion and decided to stop playing. All my life I had played football and never once thought about it being nonexistent in my life. Going through that whole year of not playing before finally signing here to CSU-Pueblo was the most depressing point in my life. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. After seeing multiple doctors and getting third and fourth opinions, I decided to come back and play. I dedicated my whole life to playing football and won’t let something  so minimal stop me from playing. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•  Getting kicked out of Arizona State by far. Going from being an All-American, having a bunch of offers and finally picking a school like ASU, then getting kicked out after a short period of time. Having so many friends and family around made it the most embarrassing because it felt as if I let everyone down. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  My most memorable play of college was in JUCO against Scottsdale CC. First play of the game I noticed they were coving me with 3 people. They bracketed me with a safety, backer and a slot corner. I ran a corner post against them playing Cover 3 with an extra DB running with me. They couldn’t stop it and it was 67 yd bomb. It’s my most memorable play because I remember telling their coaches it was nothing they could do about it.

What song best describes your work ethic?

•  That’s How I Knew by Nipsey Hussle.

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

•  Resilience, honestly. I’ve been through a lot in my career, especially only to be in college still and I’m still pushing. I feel like that can help anyone succeed in anything they want to do in life. It’s not always going to be smooth sailing, but you always have to bounce back no matter what happens. 

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

•  My grandpa Richard Richardson. I didn’t get to see him again before he passed, the last thing he told me was he loved me and couldn’t wait to see me play. 

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

•  I’ve never really thought about that one! Probably SkyClub or something like that because of my last name. 

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

•  Keenan Allen. He gets respect but not nearly as much as he deserves. In my opinion, he’s one of the best all round receivers in the league and sometime he isn’t even in the discussion when I hear people talk about the best people in the league. 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  I will be the first to tell anyone I’d rather be respected than liked. You can be the most perfect person in the world and there will still be people who don’t like you. There’s people in this world that we all don’t like, but must respect. That’s why I’d rather have everyone’s respect. 

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

•  Josh Gordon for sure. He was on his way to be a hall of famer when he first got into the league. I would’ve loved to see what he did in the rest of his career if he had never got into all that trouble. He can still comeback too so I’m wishing him the best. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•  I hate losing more than anything. It doesn’t matter what it is, football, cards, dominos, checkers, it doesn’t matter. I wont say I’m a sore loser but I definitely hate losing more than anything!

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

•  Biggest influence for me is my uncle Jashon Sykes. Every since I could remember he’s always been my role model. I remember being 5-6 years old seeing him sign with the Denver Broncos after being an All-American at Colorado. After his playing career, he became the athletic director at San Diego State. That’s exactly what I want to do with my career once it’s all said and done. He also just released a children’s book based on morals and ethics. Everything I want to do with my career, he’s done it and more so that’s who I look up to for sure. 

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 nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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