Dionte Sykes Commits to UCLA: What Versatile Receiver Brings to Bruins

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIMay 17, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

Wide receiver recruit Dionte Sykes committed to UCLA on the same day that he received an offer from Jim Mora and the Bruins.

Now that's a commitment worth being excited about if you're a UCLA fan.

Sykes is a 3-star wideout with a great amount of potential, if only because of his size alone. He's 6'4'', 200 pounds, according to 247Sports.

Erik McKinney of ESPN.com reports on the commitment, and on Sykes' thoughts on his decision:

Sykes, who was previously offered by Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan and Michigan State, among others, picked up an offer from UCLA earlier this week and didn't need more than a few moments to know he would commit. On Thursday evening, he made it official by committing to the Bruins. 

"I knew I was going to go there from the very beginning," Sykes said. "I've known that whole staff since I was little, and I'm from California. It's a perfect fit." 

In contrast with 247Sports, ESPN lists Sykes at 6'2'', 205 pounds. Per McKinney, the young star says he can play tight end or wide receiver, and claims the Bruins are open to him playing either position:

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound receiver will have the ability to play tight end or wide receiver at UCLA, and he said the Bruins staff told him to keep an eye on both positions this fall. 

"They said I'll play whichever one fits me best," Sykes said. "They want me to pay attention to the whole offense and we'll see how things work out." 

Whatever his official height may be, there's no doubting that Sykes is a talented recruit and a good commitment for UCLA.

He runs crisp routes and has good footwork, and that complements his size. He displays incredibly soft hands and his length allows him to fully extend and make a fundamental catch with his hands. It also helps him go up and "high point" the ball.

Note: You can watch Sykes' highlights here.

All of that is a technical way of saying that Sykes will make some plays on less than accurate throws, and he'll be a good jump ball receiver over smaller defenders.

The final aspect of Sykes' game is his physicality. While he possesses all the traits of a good wide receiver, he's also not opposed to lowering his shoulder, driving his feet and pickup up extra yards after contact. That mentality should also make him a good blocker, so the possibility of playing him at tight end definitely exists.

We've seen the tight end position become more of a hybrid wide receiver/tight end role recently, and perhaps Sykes could fit that mold. Tight ends that can stretch the field vertically up the middle and seams are becoming valuable, and if Sykes puts on more weight, he could be that type of player for UCLA.

One thing is for certain: Whether it be at tight end or at wide receiver, Sykes projects to be a talented player for the Bruins.


Note: All scouting and analysis of Sykes done via tape study of film provided on his 247Sports profile page.

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